Autumn statement 2023: How does the National Living Wage rise affect Londoners?

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Following today's Autumn Statement, the National Living Wage is set to increase to £11.44 per hour - far below the recommended London Living Wage.

The National Living Wage is set to increase by more than a pound to £11.44 per hour from April next year. In his Autumn statement Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed the recommendation from the Low Pay Commission - an increase of £1.02 from the current rate of £10.42 - has been accepted.

He said this change will help almost three million workers, and the policy has also been extended to cover workers aged 21 and over, rather than 23 and over.

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Mr Hunt said ahead of the Autumn Statement: “Next April all full-time workers on the National Living Wage will get a pay rise of over £1,800-a-year. That will end low pay in this country, delivering on our manifesto promise. The National Living Wage has helped halve the number of people on low pay since 2010, making sure work always pays.”

However, for Londoners the national increase still falls £2 short of the London Living Wage, which is set by the Living Wage Foundation. In October the London Living Wage increased by 10% from £11.95 to £13.15 an hour.

The real Living Wage is independently calculated based on living costs and applies to everyone over 18. While not a legal obligation, companies are invited to sign up, with touted benefits including a reduction in absenteeism and staff morale. Since 2011, 460,000 workers at 14,000 organisations are predicted to have benefited.

National Living Wage to increase to £11.44 per hour from April. National Living Wage to increase to £11.44 per hour from April.
National Living Wage to increase to £11.44 per hour from April. | Getty Images

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: "A rise in the statutory National Living Wage from next April is welcome news for low paid workers but it still falls short of the voluntary real Living Wage which is £12 per hour in the UK and £13.15 per hour for workers in London.

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"There are now 14,000 Living Wage accredited employers across the UK who are committed to always paying everyone in their organisation, including contractors like cleaners and security guards, a real Living Wage based on the cost of living.

"Despite tough economic times, it has been heartening to see record numbers of businesses join our movement and we'd encourage other organisations who can, to make the Living Wage commitment too.”

In his Autumn statement Chancellor Hunt also announced cuts to national insurance, business tax cuts, benefit increases and pension reforms.

Mayor of London

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, described Mr Hunt’s Autumn budget as “deeply anti-London.”

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“This Autumn Statement was an opportunity for the chancellor to recognise the important role that London plays in creating jobs and growth across the UK, while providing vital support to Londoners with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis,” said the mayor. “Instead, what we’ve seen is another deeply anti-London budget. Whether on TfL capital funding, desperately needed affordable housing or providing the Met Police with the funding it needs, today’s statement again fell woefully short. Londoners continue to suffer from higher prices at the shops, higher energy bills and soaring housing costs because of the government’s failure and mismanagement. The limited additional help being provided by ministers today is dwarfed by the deepening housing crisis affecting Londoners across our city.

 “The OBR today confirmed that economic growth across the country will be more sluggish than previously forecast. What the government needs to realise is that proper investment in London would not only help deliver more affordable housing, better transport, and vital services that Londoners need, but also help power our national recovery, generate prosperity, and speed up the growth of high-paid jobs.”

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