Nearly 1.8 million people in the UK will receive a pay rise from April 1st, following a 4.9 per cent increase in the National Living Wage.
The ‘National Minimum Wage’ which was rebranded as the National Living Wage in 2016 faces the highest increase since it was first introduced.
Adult workers will receive a pay rise of £690 over the year as the National Living Wage increases from £7.83 to £8.21 per hour.
The rate rises for 21 – 24 year-olds from £7.38 to £7.70, an overall increase of 32p and from £5.90 to £6.15 for 18 – 20 year-olds, an overall rise of 25p.
There are currently 31,000 workers in Scotland receiving the National Minimum Wage who will benefit from the increase.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said:
“This government is dedicated to increasing the wages of the lowest paid which is why we introduced the National Living Wage and have continued to increase the National Minimum Wage rates – all of which will rise again and benefit millions of workers.
“This government is committed to raising productivity performance across the income spectrum, so that the wages of the lowest paid can increase sustainably over time.”
The rates continue to create a pay gap between the 18 – 20 year-olds and those in their early twenties to 24 – year-olds.
The rise also fails to close the poverty gap as it is £1500 less than the real living wage, as argued by the Living Wage Foundation.
The real living wage is what is required by individuals and families to realistically afford food and shelter to survive.
Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said:
“Today’s increase in the government minimum wage will provide a welcome boost to low pay workers. But around 6 million workers still earn less than the real Living Wage and struggle to keep their heads above water.
“Many are unable to afford even the basics like decent family meals, or a warm and safe home.
We now need to see more businesses step up and provide a wage that truly covers the cost of living.”
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More than a third of workers in Scotland are fearful that they might lose their jobs at some point over the next 12 months.
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