The Speaker
Friday, 8 December 2023 – 19:38

Is the Living Wage going up?

UK Chancellor Sajid Javid pledged at the 2019 Conservative Party Conference to raise the National Living Wage to £10.50 within the next five years. But what is the living wage and how has it been rising?

In Apri 2016, the UK government introduced a higher minimum wage rate for staff over the age of 25. The new rate was dubbed the ‘National Living Wage’. The name may suggest that the wage is a minimum amount needed to live on, however that is not necessarily the case. There are three different wage rates in the UK;

  • The Minimum Wage – the minimum wage set by the government for under 25s
  • The National Living Wage – the minimum wage for over 25s set by the government
  • The Real Living Wage – the only wage rate based on what people need to live, set independently and this has a separate higher rate for London

Is the Living Wage rising?

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference, Sajid Javid announced a pledge to raise the National Living Wage to £10.50 within the next five years, plus that the government would lower the age threshold for those who qualify for the rate from 25 down to 21.

The National Living Wage has been rising since its creation. In April 2016, the rate was £7.20, it is currently £8.21.

However, the Living Wage Foundation says the rate should already be at £9 across the UK and £10.55 for those in London. The Labour Party pledged earlier this year to increase the National Living Wage to £10 an hour in 2020 and to include all workers in this rate – including those under the age of 18, who are currently entitled to a minimum wage of £4.35 per hour.

Despite Brexit, pay growth for workers in Britains has been accelerating, with total pay including bonuses picking up 4% in the three months to July.


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