By Becky Morton, Political reporter in Manchester
The national living wage is set to rise to a minimum of £11 an hour from April 2022, according to an announcement expected from Chancellor Jeremy Hunt at the Conservative Party conference. This increase will be welcomed by approximately two million of the country’s lowest-paid workers.
Highlighting the Conservative Party’s commitment to improving the lives of working people, Hunt is also expected to mention plans to strengthen sanctions for individuals on benefits who fail to actively seek employment. Amid mounting pressure to reduce taxes, the government aims to strike a balance between fair wages and incentives for job-seeking.
Currently set at £10.42 an hour, the national living wage is the legally mandated minimum hourly rate for workers aged 23 and above. Younger employees receive lower rates. Each year, the government determines the rates based on recommendations from the independent advisory group, the Low Pay Commission. While the commission’s recommendations for next year are yet to be confirmed, it estimates that the rate required to achieve the government’s target should fall between £10.90 and £11.43.
By guaranteeing an increase to at least £11 an hour, the Conservative Party projects a £1,000 annual earnings boost for full-time workers on the national living wage. This announcement aligns with the government’s previous commitment to reach a rate equivalent to two-thirds of median hourly pay by October 2022.
Q: What is the national living wage?
A: The national living wage is the minimum hourly rate established by law for workers aged 23 and over.
Q: Who determines the rates of the national living wage?
A: The rates are decided each year by the government, taking into account the recommendations made by the independent advisory group, the Low Pay Commission.
Q: How will low-paid workers benefit from the new increase?
A: The increase to at least £11 an hour will provide a £1,000 annual earnings increment for full-time workers on the national living wage.
Q: What other measures will be addressed alongside the wage increase?
A: The chancellor will also announce plans to reevaluate the benefits sanctions regime to encourage job-seeking and discuss further details about benefits in the Autumn Statement in November.
(Note: This article is a creative divergence from the original content and may not reflect the exact details or quotes mentioned in the source article.)