Sajid Javid announces plan to raise national living wage to £10.50 an hour

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LONDON: The national living wage could be raised to £10.50 an hour under plans announced by the Chancellor, as he sought to move the Tory conference on from allegations around Boris Johnson’s personal life.

Sajid Javid said his “ambitious” proposal – which would also see the age threshold lowered to cover all workers over the age of 21 – would give four million people a pay rise.

He said he wanted the national living wage to be raised to match two-thirds of median earnings, which could lead to a £2.29 rise in the hourly rate.”Over the next five years, we will make the UK one of the first major economies in the world to end low pay altogether,” he said.

“To do that, I am setting a new target for the national living wage: raising it to match two-thirds of median earnings.

“That means, on current forecasts, this ambitious plan will bring the national living wage up to £10.50 – giving four million people a well-earned pay rise.”

Only workers aged 25 and over are currently able to receive the national living wage, which is set at £8.21. Those 24 and under receive the minimum wage. But Mr Javid said the Government wanted to reward the hard work of millennials and bring down the age threshold to cover all workers over the age of 21.

Mr Javid told the conference the Government was bringing in a “decade of renewal” after the “decade of recovery” under the last Labour government, and promised an “infrastructure revolution” with investment in roads, buses and broadband.

“Our roads are the arteries of our country. We will soon launch the new roads investment strategy with £29 billion committed to strategic and local roads over the next five years,” he said.

The projects include the M60 Simister Island, dualling the A66 Transpennine and starting work on the A428 between Cambridge and Milton Keynes. He also allocated £500 million to create a new Youth Investment Fund to roll out youth centres and services to help young people “get on the conveyor belt to a better life and career”.