UK minimum wage increases 2.2%, with pay rise for 2m low-paid workers

Pay hike for 2million low-paid workers as minimum wage increases today by 2.2%… more than £300 extra a year for full time staff

The National Living Wage rises by 2.2 per cent to £8.91 per hour from ThursdayThe boost is the equivalent of £345 extra per year for someone working full timeThe rate will also be expanded to include 23 and 24-year-olds for the first time

Two million low-income workers will get a pay rise today following an increase in the minimum wage.

The National Living Wage rises by 2.2 per cent to £8.91 per hour – the equivalent of £345 extra per year for someone working full time.

The rate, which previously applied to those aged 25 and over, will also be expanded to include 23 and 24-year-olds for the first time.

The rise is significantly above the current 0.7 per cent inflation rate and comes at a time when most of the public sector is subject to a pay freeze and the Government is saying it can only afford a 1 per cent rise for NHS staff.

Boris Johnson said the pay rise had been ‘well-earned’.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured) said the decision to press ahead with the increase in the ‘toughest of years’ was a sign of the Government’s commitment to the low paid

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured on Monday) said that the pay rise had been 'well-earned'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured on Monday) said that the pay rise had been ‘well-earned’

He added: ‘The National Minimum and Living Wages have increased every year since they were introduced, supporting the lowest paid, and despite the challenges we’ve faced recently, this year will be no different.’

Workers over the age of 23 will see an increase from £8.72 to £8.91 an hour; £8.20 to £8.36 for those aged 21-22; £6.45 to £6.56 for 18 to 20-year-olds; from £4.55 to £4.62 for under-18s; and £4.15 to £4.30 for apprentices.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the decision to press ahead with the increase in the ‘toughest of years’ was a sign of the Government’s commitment to the low paid.

The rise will particularly benefit workers in sectors such as retail, hospitality, cleaning and maintenance.

But the Living Wage Foundation, which sets a voluntary minimum pay target for employers, said it was still well short of the rates needed – suggesting workers required £10.85 an hour in London and £9.50 outside the capital.