As the Chancellor reaffirmed at the Budget, the Government are increasing the national living wage by 2.2% from £8.72 to £8.91, an above-inflation pay rise. The Government remain committed to their ambitious target for the national living wage to reach two thirds of median earnings by 2024 provided that economic conditions allow. The Treasury will continue to work closely with Cabinet colleagues to ensure that we reach this target.
In welcoming the Government’s generous economic support packages and the increase in the national living wage, may I just ask the Minister to consider further increasing it ahead of inflation in the years ahead to help achieve our one nation agenda and ensure that work pays? I suggest that, combined with an effective and controlled immigration policy, that will also encourage businesses to invest in their workforce and in research and development generally, which will help to improve productivity.
I thank my hon. Friend for his question. He should know that the Government remain committed to ensuring that work pays and to helping to end low pay. As he knows, investment to raise productivity is vital for long-term sustainable growth in wages. I am sure that his request is one that we will consider, as always, in future Budgets. Taxes and minimum wages are always under review, but this Government are absolutely focused on levelling up. We have set out our plan to build back better, which will drive economic growth that levels up the whole of the UK through significant investment in infrastructure as well as skills and innovation.