The National Living Wage is the legal minimum wage for those over 25 years old (there are different bands of minimum wages for those younger than 25). Median earnings is one of many ways to measure income levels, and it simply means the amount that half the country earns more than, and half the country earn less than. So whatever that figure is (£28,400 according to the figures released in February 2019), this policy promises to ensure the National Living Wage rises to 60% of that amount by 2020.
When the government was elected in June 2017, the minimum wage was £7.50 per hour, which was 57% of the median income. Since then, the National Living Wage has risen to £7.83 per hour in 2018, and then to £8.21 per hour from April 2019.
We can’t say exactly what this 60% target will equate to by 2020 because average earnings change (rise, usually) over time. But it is expected that 60% of the median earnings will equal between £8.75 and £9.00 per hour.
Given the government has increased the National Living Wage we can definitely consider this policy as ‘in progress’. However, there will need to be a further rise before the end of 2019 in order to meet their deadline for this promise. Follow this policy for updates to the National Living Wage as they happen.
Find out more
- National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates – Gov.uk
- National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage – Acas (shows all the rates)
- The Rates: National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage and Living Wage – Full Fact (good explanation of what all the different rates are)
- Average Weekly Earnings, bonus payments in Great Britain: 2017 – ONS
- Summary of Budget 2018: Key points at-a-glance – BBC
- Summary of Budget 2017: Key points at-a-glance – BBC