Prime Minister fails to confirm minimum wage will go up in 2021

Boris Johnson has failed to confirm the minimum wage will increase next April.

Labour’s Jessica Morden highlighted reports that Chancellor Rishi Sunak may scrap the planned increase on the grounds it may be considered unaffordable, amid high levels of public spending during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking in the Commons, the MP for Newport East asked: “Can the Prime Minister rule this out once and for all, recognise working people should not be made to pay for the crisis and confirm that the National Living Wage will rise, as planned, to £9.21 an hour in April?”

Sidestepping the question, Mr Johnson replied: “It was this Government that introduced the living wage and I’m proud that we have so far delivered a record increase in the living wage and supported families throughout the crisis, not just with the living wage but with a huge £160 billion package of support.

“This is a Government that puts its arms around the people of this country and helps them through tough times.”

The minimum wage is currently £8.72 an hour for people aged 25 and over, £8.20 for 21 to 24-year-olds, £6.45 for 18 to 20-year-olds, £4.55 for under-18s and £4.15 for apprentices.

It was due to rise to £9.21 next April for the oldest age group.

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