Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed news that four million low-paid workers are to gain an average £4,000 a year from a hike in the National Living Wage (NLW) announced by Chancellor Sajid Javid at the Conservative Party Conference.

The increase will bring the national minimum up over the next five years from 60 per cent to 66 per cent of the median wage, and the age threshold will be cut from 25 to 21, Chancellor Javid said. At current trends this would boost the hourly minimum rate from £8.21 to £10.50 by 2024, compared to the £9.55 it could be expected to reach over the same period under current rates.

Together, and based on the latest projections, these announcements mean that the National Living Wage is set to be £10.50 in 2024 and will benefit over 4 million people. By 2024, a full-time worker on the National Living Wage will see an increase in their annual pay of over £4,000 a year compared to the earnings of a full-time worker on the current National Living Wage.

The introduction of the National Living Wage in 2016 delivered the fastest pay rise for the lowest earners in almost 20 years. On 1 April, the Government increased the NLW by 4.9 per cent, to £8.21 an hour.

Robin has long advocated for the National Living Wage, endorsed its introduction and believes that cutting taxes for working families by raising the income tax threshold is important. In his role as a back-bencher, Robin spoke often of raising the threshold up to the level of someone working full-time on the minimum wage.

Commenting on the announcement this week, Robin said:

“I am delighted that the Government is once again raising the National Living Wage. I campaigned on these matters before they became party policy and I was happy to see the Government pledge to accelerate the upward trajectory on pay we’ve seen in recent years.”

“It is essential that as we make sure workers benefit from more money in their pay cheques, we also support businesses to create and sustain the jobs on which they rely. At a time of record employment, we have a great opportunity to make work pay better in Worcester and across the country. We need a business-friendly approach to make sure employers can sustain the challenge whilst keeping up job numbers and we also need the vital investment in public services that Conservatives are determined to deliver.”

“I’ve long argued that the people of Worcester deserve a pay rise, and I am delighted that my Worcestershire neighbour Sajid Javid is delivering it, boosting people’s wages means that more families have the security of a decent and regular pay packet and ensures that people are better off in work than out of it.”

In his address at the Conservative Party Conference, Chancellor Sajid Javid said:

“In 2016, we introduced the National Living Wage, giving Britain’s workers the biggest pay rise in two decades. In April, we increased the rate again, making 1.8 million workers better off, putting the number of low paid workers at its lowest level in four decades.”

“I’m delighted to announce that we will take this much further. Over the next five years, we will make the UK the first major economy in the world to end low pay altogether. To do that, I am setting a new target for the National Living Wage: Raising it to match two-thirds of median earnings. That means, on current forecasts, this ambitious plan will bring the National Living Wage up to £10.50, giving four million people a well-earned pay rise.”

“And to help the next generation of go-getters to get ahead, we will reward the hard work of all millennials too, by bringing down the age threshold for the National Living Wage to cover all workers over the age of 21.”

ENDS

For Robin’s previous press releases on employment and pay, please see:

http://www.walker4worcester.com/category/campaigns/jobs/