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National living wage to rise to £9.50 an hour next year

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is due to make the announcement in Wednesday’s budget

By Hollie Geraghty

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The national living wage rise is set to be announced in Wednesday's budget. (Photo: Suzy Hazelwood/ Pexels).

The National Living Wage is set to rise from £8.91 per hour to £9.50 from April 2022.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is due to make the announcement in Wednesday’s (October 27) budget, which will mean a 6.6 per cent increase in the minimum wage for people aged 23 and over.

The change will come into effect from April 1 2022, on the recommendation of the campaign group Living Wage Foundation.

Speaking about the rise, Sunak said: “This is a government that is on the side of working people. This wage boost ensures we’re making work pay and keeps us on track to meet our target to end low pay by the end of this parliament.”

The government has argued the rise will go towards rising energy prices, coinciding with a controversial £1000 cut in universal credit.

However, Labour shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Bridget Phillipson said the increase was “underwhelming”.

“This underwhelming offer works out at £1,000 a year less than Labour’s existing plans for a minimum wage of at least £10 per hour for people working full-time,” she said.

“Much of it will be swallowed up by the government’s tax rises, universal credit cuts and failure to get a grip on energy.”

Rates of minimum pay for younger works are also set to rise.

The Guardian also reported that on Wednesday Sunak is likely to confirm that the government is targeting a rise in the national living wage to more than £10 by the next election.

Sunak announced various other spending pledges before the autumn budget, promising to do “whatever it takes” to support families with the cost of living. 

Other spending pledges so far include £1.4bn to encourage foreign investment and to attract overseas talent, £700m to go towards a post-Brexit border and immigration system and a new maritime patrol fleet, and £435m for victims service, crime prevention, and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The government is continuing to face criticism from music industry bosses for “misleading” post-Brexit touring claims, recently penning an open letter about the shortcomings.

It comes after a new report by UK Music recently revealed one in three music industry jobs were lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic.