National living wage rates for workers aged over 23 will rise to £11 an hour from April 2024, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has confirmed.
The plans to increase pay from the current hourly rate of £10.42 were announced by Mr Hunt during his speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today (2 October).
A target for the national living wage to reach two-thirds of median hourly pay had already been set by the government and this latest move is expected to benefit around two million of the lowest earners.
Kate Palmer, HR advice and consultancy director at Peninsula, said: “The normal process for setting the minimum wage is usually recommended by the Low Pay Commission (LPC) regarding the rate at which wages should be set. Then the government decides whether they follow what the LPC suggests.
“The LPC has not yet disclosed its recommendation for 2024, however the Chancellor has said that despite what is recommended the national minimum living wage will be between £10.90 and £11.43, with a central estimate of £11.16.
“The government has also teased the idea that the age eligibility may also be lowered to 21 from 23, although it is unclear whether to be announced.”
Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “A rise in the statutory national living wage from next April is welcome news for low paid workers, but may fall short of the real Living Wage next year, the only rate that is independently calculated based on the cost of living.”
She highlighted that the new real living wage rates will be announced on 24 October, when “a significant increase” is expected.
Also commenting on the announcement, TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “No matter how the chancellor tries to spin it, this is just another reheated government announcement.
“Working people have suffered the longest wage squeeze in modern history. And it’s low-paid workers who are at the sharp end, facing massive financial pressures – especially on essentials like food and energy.
“It’s time for a roadmap to a £15 minimum wage and decent work for everyone. The Chancellor’s speech failed to deliver that.”