Millions of workers who are on minimum wages are receiving a pay rise.
Workers on the National Living Wage will see their rates rise from £7.83 per hour to £8.21 per hour – an increase of 4.9%.
Pay rises are also in place for young workers and apprentices.
The chairman of the Low Pay Commission, Bryan Sanderson, welcomed the new rate. He said: “We are pleased that millions of workers across the country will see an above-inflation pay rise.”
More analysis and lots of great charts in the report:https://t.co/lUixhrb6KH
— Low Pay Commission (@lpcminimumwage) April 1, 2019
Despite this, a range of bills are due to increase as well.
Council tax rates are set to rise in most places later this month, gas and electricity companies can charge up to £117 extra per year after regulator Ofgem raised the price cap, while additional increases are also expected for the TV licence and vehicle tax.
This has lead to calls for the Government to do more to tackle low pay, as the National Living Wage is still below the Real Living Wage.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) claims that the current minimum wage level is too low and should be raised to £10 per hour.
These claims have been echoed by the charity Living Wage Foundations, who believe an increase would help the general public with everyday living costs.
The TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Young workers are still getting a raw deal on pay.
“Their bills are not any cheaper, but they have to make ends meet with less. That is just not fair.”
The minimum wage was a victory for union campaigning.
We were told it would bankrupt the country. Instead it gave workers earning as little as 90p/hr a fair deal.
20 years on, the fight to end working poverty goes on. Workers need a £10 minimum wage now. https://t.co/SYmmDiJmf7
— TradesUnionCongress (@The_TUC) April 1, 2019
Official figures have also discovered that more than half a million of working age in the East Midlands are living in poverty.
The TUC have said that, despite an increase of employability in the region, working age poverty has barely fallen since 2010.
In addition, figures from the Office of National Statistics shows that between 2010 and 2017, the percentage of working people that live in poverty has only dropped by 1%.
The GMB Union also argue that employers should be paying more.
Using figures sourced from the High Pay Centre, a GMB investigation has found that the average pay among FTSE 100 CEO’s is now £3.9 million annually; a 217% increase on the £1.23 million that they earned when the national minimum wage was first introduced.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the National Minimum Wage.
Despite fierce opposition, Labour introduced it and saw millions get a pay rise ✊
Now the fight to end poverty pay continues 💷👇 pic.twitter.com/gLyqhRkdfT
— GMB UNION (@GMB_union) April 1, 2019
GMB General Secretary Tim Roache declared that is was a “national scandal” that millions of UK were working on the cusp of the poverty line.
He said: “The introduction of the national minimum wage by a Labour government was a hugely important step for working people in this country but, as our investigation shows, it’s been allowed to wither on the vine while bosses’ pay has been sky rocketed.”
Roache added: “No one should work hard all week and still be trapped in poverty. It’s a national scandal and it makes no economic sense.”