Rishi Sunak. Imaage credit: HM Treasury Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ No changes made
Salford from above. Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aerial_photograph_of_Salford_and_Trafford_Park.jpg / No changes made


With the upcoming announcement that the National Minimum Wage is set to rise to £9.50 per hour for over 23s, Salford residents tell us their thoughts ahead of tomorrow’s Budget.

It was announced on Monday morning that workers over the age of 23 are set to get a wage boost of 59p, rising to £9.50 from £8.91. This means that workers on the wage can expect to earn just under £1100 a year, before taxes.

After increasing pressures following the cutting of universal credit at the beginning of the month, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, is expected to officially announce this rise during Wednesday’s Budget. 

The rise came about partially in response to campaigns from groups such as Living Wage Foundation, to support lower paid and younger workers who were hardest hit by the pandemic. On Twitter, the group praised the news and said “the rise in the National Wage is a positive step for workers ‑ it will go some way to easing the pressure on households feeling the squeeze.”

The 6.6% increase will come into place for workers aged 23 and over on April 1st 2022. This next scheduled rise will be more than double the current consumer price inflation rate,  the rate at which the prices of goods and services bought by households rise or fall, that currently stands at 3.1%.

It was also later announced that there will also be a wage rise for workers under 23 as well as those doing currently taking on apprenticeships too. 

  • NMW for 21-22: From £8.36 to £9.18
  • NMW for 18 to 20-year-olds: From £6.56 to £6.83
  • NMW for under-18s: From £4.62 to £4.81
  • The Apprentice Rate: From £4.30 to £4.81

Speaking on Monday, the Chancellor said the rise “ensures we’re making work pay and keeps us on track to meet our target to end low pay by the end of this Parliament”.

But its often feared that a rise in minimum wage will ultimately lead to an increase in unemployment, as employers may have to cut their staff to counterbalance wage increases.

Despite this, industry experts maintain that there is little to no evidence based on previous rises that mass unemployment will occur.

Here in Salford, many residents welcomed the news that wages for over 23s are set to go up.

But in the same vein, some have also stated that, despite wages going up for under 18s, more could definitely be done to support them while earning in employment – as local resident, Grace explained:

“It should happen for all minimum wages. For 16 year olds, who are earning even less than that (23+ NMW), they deserve a pay rise as well. I think its the same for everybody. The cost of living is constantly going up and the Minimum Wage doesn’t seem to be going up at the same rate – and I don’t think it’s good enough.

She went on to say that the NMW rise was “necessary” and should occur more often, with it providing a lifeline to families who were the most harshly effected by the slashing of Universal Credit.

“The announcement yesterday was long overdue.”

MediaCity worker, Lois, also welcomed the news hailing it as “a good idea”. However, she remained skeptical, as only the older workers were getting the biggest increase when those younger than them could potentially be working longer hours for a lower pay, they said:

“I’m not too sure… 22 year olds, 21 year olds and under all still do the same amount of work. So I do agree that they should raise it, however I do think they should raise all wages (to an equal amount) from the age of 18.”

With Rishi Sunak’s impending announcement on the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage coming tomorrow, it is clear that while the rise in both wages is definitely a step towards a greater end goal, Boris Johnson and his cabinet could do a lot more to help “level up” the regions youngest workers, whose effort is not being reflected in their wages.




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