The minimum wage increases which come into effect this weekend are not enough to “lift the pressure” on working families, according to the TUC.
From 1 April 2023, the national living wage (NLW) hourly rate for those aged 23 and over is set to rise by 9.7%, from £9.50 to £10.42. The new national minimum wage for 21- and 22-year-olds will be £10.18, up 10.9% from the current rate of £9.18.
Those aged 18–20 years old will see a 9.7% increase in their pay, from £6.83 to £7.49 an hour, while 16- and 17-year-olds and apprentices will get a 9.8% boost, taking their wages from £4.81 to £5.28 an hour.
However, the union body’s analysis found that those earning the minimum wage will lose out on £124 this year because the new rates are not increasing in line with CPI inflation. Additionally, when considering the RPI inflation rate, which factors in housing costs, the loss rises to £712.
TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “Everyone who works for a living deserves to earn a decent living. But tomorrow’s below-inflation increase to the minimum wage is not going to lift the pressure on hard-pressed families.
“A large chunk is going to be wiped out by soaring energy bills. And with food prices shooting through the roof, many low-paid workers will not see a positive difference in their spending power.
“It’s time to put an end to low-pay Britain. That means getting the minimum wage to £15 per an hour as soon as possible.”
He also called for industry-wide Fair Pay Agreements so that all employees have a minimum set of pay and rights.
Commenting on the cost-of-living crisis, Nowak added: “Inflation may fall over the next year. But make no mistake – the cost-of-living nightmare is far from over.
“Millions are still living wage packet to wage packet. Unless we bring bills under control – and get pay rising in every corner of the country – families will keep lurching from crisis to crisis.”