National living wage rises by 6.2%

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A 6.2% enhance within the nationwide living wage got here into impact on Wednesday.

The enhance was introduced on the finish of final yr and was heralded by the federal government as “the biggest cash increase ever”.

The rise is greater than thrice the speed of inflation and takes hourly pay for folks aged 25 and over to £8.72.

It has been welcomed by unions and comes as many employees throughout the nation are on decreased pay due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The authorities’s coronavirus job retention scheme means employers can declare for 80% of wages with the intention to hold employees employed.

Union leaders stated the rise was effectively deserved as many key employees reminiscent of carers and agricultural and store employees are on minimal wage charges.

“Britain is indebted to its army of minimum wage heroes,” stated TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady.

“Many – including care workers and supermarket staff – are currently on the frontline of the battle against coronavirus. They deserve every penny of this increase, and more.”

The nationwide living wage is the government-mandated minimal wage for folks 25 and over. The minimal wage for under-25s can even rise.

From Wednesday, the brand new charges are:

  • The National Living Wage for ages 25 and above – up 6.2% to £8.72
  • The National Minimum Wage for 21 to 24-year-olds – up 6.5% to £8.20
  • For 18 to 20-year-olds – up 4.9% to £6.45
  • For under-18s – up 4.6% to £4.55
  • For apprentices – up 6.4% to £4.15

Employers typically fear {that a} increased minimal wage will result in extra unemployment as they are going to be compelled to put off employees with the intention to afford the will increase.

But an impartial report printed final yr stated there was little or no proof of job losses because of rising minimal wage ranges.

“Employment costs have surged in recent years and are cited as the number one cause of rising outgoings among small employers,” stated Mike Cherry, nationwide chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses.

But he stated a coverage to cut back the National Insurance contributions that companies are required to pay, which was introduced within the Budget, will assist small companies foot the invoice for the wage enhance.

That coverage is one in all a raft of modifications to return into drive on Wednesday.

Is life getting costlier?

Spring typically brings main worth hikes however the image is extra sophisticated this yr – and among the modifications are dwarfed by the impression of the coronavirus on many family incomes.

Council tax will probably be sometimes be round 4% increased, prescriptions are up 20p to £9 – that is England solely – and the TV licence is £three costlier at £157.50.

The large cell phone suppliers are pushing up their charges by greater than 2% and BT broadband is costlier too.

But water payments in England and Wales are being lower by 4% on common and the cap on the common customary charge power invoice is being introduced right down to £1,162 from Wednesday, a drop of £17.

The oil worth has fallen sharply, which suggests power payments might come down extra. So may the price of filling up the automotive.