The UK’s national living wage will rise to at least £11 per hour next year, the chancellor has confirmed.
Speaking at the Conservative conference in Manchester, Jeremy Hunt said the increase from the current rate of £10.42 will mean a pay rise for nearly two million workers.
“The wages of the lowest paid over £9,000 a year higher than they were in 2010 – because if you work hard, a Conservative government will always have your back,” he told Tory members.
The government had already set a target for the national living wage to reach two-thirds of median hourly pay by October next year.
The Low Pay Commission estimates the rate required to meet that target should be between £10.90 and £11.43, with a central estimate of £11.16.
The national living wage is the UK Government’s name for the national minimum wage.
The real living wage, a voluntary scheme that is based on the cost of living, is currently at £10.90 outside of London, with the rate for 2023-24 to be announced on October 24.
The cabinet secretary also said the UK Government would re-look at the benefit sanctions system to get more people into work.
A freeze on the number of civil servants will be in place, Hunt added, in a move which could save the country £1bn a year.
Speaking about equality and inclusion, the chancellor said no one should have their bank account closed because they are not “politically correct”.
“We’ll tighten the law to stop people being debanked for their political views,” he says.
Concluding his keynote speech, Hunt said: “It’s easy to support higher growth, better public services and lower taxes. Harder to make it happen.
“In Britain today, there’s only one party prepared to make those difficult decisions.
“Our party and our Prime Minister, whose diligence and tenacity have given us the Windsor Framework, the Atlantic Declaration, the Trans-Pacific trade deal, and the NHS workforce plan, whose own life story shows just what’s possible with education, aspiration and hard work.
“His story and our story: more growth, more jobs, more doctors, more nurses, better schools, less poverty, less crime.
“It’s time to roll up our sleeves, take on the declinists and watch the British economy prove the doubters wrong.”
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