Jeremy Hunt confirms pay boost for nearly 3million workers as living wage rises to more than £11 an hour

Jeremy Hunt confirms pay boost for nearly 3million workers as living wage rises to more than £11 an hour

The national living wage is to increase to more than £11 an hour from next April, Jeremy Hunthas announced.

The chancellor said move would “end low pay in this country” as he said nearly three million workers would receive an hourly wage of £11.44, as he prepares to unveil the autumn statement on Wednesday.

The move will benefit nearly three million of the lowest paid.

The government had set a target for the national living wage to reach two-thirds of median hourly pay by October next year.

Announcing last month that he wanted the rate rise to “at least” £11 an hour, Mr Hunt said he wanted to “complete another great Conservative reform, the national living wage.”

The rate is currently £10.42 for workers aged over 23, but the new figure will apply to 21 and 22-year-olds for the first time.

The National minimum wage for 18 to 20-year-olds will also increase by £1.11 to £8.60 per hour, the government has said.

Apprentices will have their minimum hourly rates boosted. An 18-year-old in an industry like construction will see their pay increase by more than 20%, from £5.28 to £6.40 an hour.

Mr Hunt hailed the rise and said it would “end low pay in this country, delivering on our manifesto promise”.

Further measures will be set out by Mr Hunt in the autumn statement.

Nye Cominetti, principal economist of the Resolution Foundation, said: “The more than £1 an hour increase in the National Living Wage next year is huge – the third biggest rise ever in both cash and real terms. At least 1.7 million workers across Britain will benefit from this latest rise, and many more will see their wages boosted indirectly. “

She added: “The minimum wage is one of Britain’s greatest ever policy triumphs – playing a key role in reducing low pay to a record low, and benefitting women and younger workers in particular. But it can’t be the only tool we use to improve people’s working lives. We now need to build on its success to drive up wider working conditions for low earners in terms of job security and access to holiday and sick pay.”