“This week for instance, what’s happening is that the [National] Living Wage is going up again by record amounts.”
That’s what Boris Johnson told MPs at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions.
He made a similar claim last week:
“What we are also doing this month, by the way, is lifting the [National] Living Wage for all workers across our country by another £1,000 – so it’s up £5,000 since 2015.”
It’s true that in cash terms, the National Living Wage – which sets the minimum pay for workers over 23 – is due to rise by the highest amount since the policy was introduced in 2015.
The rise is 6.6 per cent compared to last year, or 59 pence per hour, bringing the hourly rate up to £9.50.
For someone working full time on the National Living Wage, that works out at about £1,000 a year – just as Mr Johnson said.
But there’s some important context missing.
Once we account for inflation – which is set to hit 8 per cent this year – the on-paper pay rise is actually a pay cut of about £200 for a full time worker on the National Living Wage. That’s according to figures provided to FactCheck by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies.
A government spokesperson told FactCheck: “From April, a full-time worker on the National Living Wage will see their annual earnings rise by over £1,000. This signifies an increase of around £5,000 since the policy was announced in 2015.
“Since its introduction, the National Living Wage has grown more than twice as fast as consumer prices. This year’s increase will be the largest yet in cash terms, helping protect the incomes of 2 million workers.”
Boris Johnson says the National Living Wage is rising by a record amount in April and that the increase works out at £1,000 a year.
These claims are correct – but once we account for inflation, we see a different picture. The on-paper pay rise actually works out at a pay cut of around £200 a year for someone working full time on the National Living Wage.