Rishi Sunak 'will unfreeze public sector pay at the Budget'

Rishi Sunak 'will unfreeze public sector pay at the Budget'

October 25, 2021

Rishi Sunak ‘will unfreeze public sector pay and increase the value of the national minimum wage’ at the Budget in salary boost for almost five millions workers

  • Rishi Sunak said to be planning to end the public sector pay freeze at the Budget 
  • Chancellor is also expected to announce an increase to national minimum wage 
  • Reports claim minimum wage could be increased from £8.91 to as high as £9.45

Rishi Sunak will unfreeze public sector pay and announce an increase in the national minimum wage when he delivers his Budget later this week, it was claimed today. 

The Chancellor will unveil his spending plans on Wednesday and there is a growing expectation he will take action to hike wages after the pain of the pandemic. 

Unfreezing public sector pay and boosting the minimum wage would provide a salary boost to almost five million workers.

Mr Sunak hinted at changes yesterday when he said setting a ‘new pay policy’ will be ‘a topic for next week’s spending review’. 

Rishi Sunak will unfreeze public sector pay and announce an increase in the national minimum wage when he delivers his Budget later this week, it was claimed today

Unfreezing public sector pay and boosting the minimum wage would provide a salary boost to almost five million workers

It has been estimated that approximately 2.6million public sector workers – including teachers, police officers and civil servants – had their pay frozen during the coronavirus crisis. 

But The Sun reported the freeze will be lifted while a significant increase is also expected to the minimum wage.  

The minimum wage is currently worth £8.91 an hour for people aged 23 and over.

For people aged 21 to 22 it is worth £8.36 an hour and for 18 to 20-year-olds it is worth £6.56.

Sources told The Sun that the main hourly rate could go up by as much as 54p to £9.45. 

That would be worth approximately an extra £1,000 a year to people in full-time work.       

Such an increase would put the minimum wage on course to hit £10 an hour before the 2024 general election. 

Unfreezing public sector pay and lifting the minimum wage would bolster Boris Johnson’s claims of shifting the UK towards a high wage, high skill economy. 

The minimum wage level is set based on advice given to the Government by the independent Low Pay Commission. 

The organisation will reportedly deliver its report and recommendations to the Chancellor today.

Any minimum wage hike will be welcomed by employees but there are some concerns in the Treasury over the impact it could have on smaller businesses. 

Mr Sunak had yesterday hinted at changes on the pay front during an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. 

Approximately 2.6million public sector workers – including teachers, police officers and civil servants – had their pay frozen during the coronavirus crisis

Asked if public sector pay will increase, he replied: ‘That will be one of the things that we talk about next week in the spending review.

‘Obviously over the past year, we took a decision to have a more targeted approach to public sector pay given that the year before there were large increases and obviously the private sector was seeing pay decreases last year, and people were on furlough.

‘We thought that was reasonable and fair. Now going forward, we’ll have to set a new pay policy and that will be a topic for next week’s spending review.’

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