The UK National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage were today increased at the start of the new financial year.
Workers aged 25 and over have had their National Living Wage hourly pay raised from £7.83 to £8.21. This represents a 4.9% increase. As well as this, the National Minimum Wage rate for 21-24-year-olds has increased from £7.38 to £7.70 and the National Minimum Wage for 18-20-year-olds has gone up from £5.90 to £6.15.
Here is all the information you need to know about this and other financial changes.
- Wage increases still beating inflation
With a 4.9% wage increase for minimum wage workers, some people may be concerned that this will only match the rate of inflation, meaning that the pay rise will not mean anything as goods and services cost more to purchase.
However, this increase in National Living Wage by far outstrips the 2.1% rate of inflation, meaning that the changes will make minimum wage workers wealthier.
- UK Minimum Wage rates are amongst the highest in the world
According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, a global trade body, British minimum wage is 54% of the average national salary. This compares favourably with other economically developed countries such as the USA (34%) and Germany (48%).
- Bills are also increasing
- The TV license fee has increased by £4 per year to £154.50.
- The standard NHS prescription charge has gone from £8.90 to £9 in England.
- According to MoneySavingExpert.com, a consumer’s watchdog, gas and electricity costs have increased by £117 a year for the typical household.
- Is it enough?
Despite these increases, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) claims the changes have not gone far enough and 18-24-year-olds should be paid the same as older workers. It also maintains that nobody should be paid less than the £10 an hour ‘Real Living Wage’.
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
The real living wage is about £9, more than £10 in London. Just because you call the minimum wage the "living wage" it doesn't actually make it liveable on. https://t.co/NuDsvozfKr
— Daniel Gibson (@dlsgibson) March 31, 2019
- How many people will it affect?
According to the BBC, the changes will affect around two million UK workers and 60% of these are women. It is estimated that the retail and hospitality industries will be most affected, with over 200,000 people benefitting.