Lowest-paid workers in Milton Keynes will get £8.91 hourly as minimum wage rise comes into effect

    The lowest-paid workers in Milton Keynes will now receive £8.91 hourly as the minimum wage rise has come into effect today (1/4).

    The new rate for the traditionally higher National Living Wage includes 23 and 24-year old workers for the first time and equates to an extra £345 annually for a full-time employee.

    The increases will see workers aged 23 and over entitled to £8.91 an hour from a previous £8.72.

    For 21-22 year-olds, the hourly rate rises to £8.36, and to £6.56 for those between 18 and 20.

    Under-18s and apprentices see the rate rise too but it remains below £5.

    It is a real terms - above the rate of inflation - 2.2% rise for National Living Wage earners and more than double the rate of increase that ministers were offering nurses and other health workers in England amid a continuing pandemic pay row.

    Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: "In this toughest of years, we're protecting workers by putting more money in the pockets of the UK's lowest paid.

    "This increase will help millions of families in every corner of the country, while supporting businesses as we prepare to safely reopen our economy and build back better from the pandemic.

    "I'd urge all workers to check their pay packet to ensure they're getting what they are entitled to, and remind employers of their duty to pay the correct wage."

    Ben Everitt, the MP for Milton Keynes North, added: "This is fantastic news for young people and the lowest earners across Milton Keynes. This Government is committed to levelling up and supporting those on lower incomes.

    "And putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families will help support our recovery as we build back better from this pandemic.”

    Despite this increase, campaigners are calling on the Government to up the minimum wage even more - to £10 per hour.

    Mike Hawking of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said: "The pandemic has shown the urgency of taking steps to tackle the injustice of in-work poverty and move towards a Real Living Wage.

    "Today's boost is necessary but as we start to recover from the impact of the last year, too many workers are finding that minimum wage increases are being wiped out due to inadequate social security, insufficient hours available to them, and high housing costs."

    The general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Frances O'Grady, said: "Those expecting a decent pay increase today have been let down by the government's decision to row back on the full rise they were promised.

    "TUC analysis shows that one in three key workers earn less than £10 an hour.

    "This can make it tough for them to pay bills and put food on the table.

    "Ministers must get the minimum wage up to £10-an-hour to stop millions of working people from living in poverty," she concluded.

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