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Minimum wage rise gives boost to 2.7 million lowest-paid

The government's increase in the National Living Wage by over £1 marks the first instance of such a substantial rise, benefiting 2.7 million low-income workers.
This adjustment escalates the main wage rate from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour for workers aged 21 and above, a change from the previous threshold of 23 years.

Younger workers and apprentices will also experience wage increases, with notable hikes to £8.60 and £6.40 per hour, respectively. Consequently, a full-time adult earner on the minimum wage could earn an additional £1,800 annually, and a 21-year-old transitioning to the main rate could see a £2,300 increase.

However, the move has prompted concerns from businesses about rising labor costs potentially leading to higher prices and reduced staff hours.

Samuel, an employee at Grindsmith coffee house, anticipates the raise will somewhat alleviate the financial pressures of escalating living costs, though his employer, Peter Gibson, foresees challenges in maintaining salary differentials and managing increased operational costs.

The government's decision follows recommendations from the Low Pay Commission, aiming to meet the Conservative's goal of ending low pay by matching the minimum wage to two-thirds of average earnings.

The Resolution Foundation highlights this as a 7.8% real-term increase, lauding it as a major policy success in reducing pay inequality since the minimum wage's inception in 1999.
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