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Poverty

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 2nd June 2020.

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Photo of Richard Burgon Richard Burgon Labour, Leeds East

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the change in the number people earning the minimum wage who are living in poverty since 1 March 2020.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) ensure that the lowest paid workers are fairly rewarded for their valuable contribution to the economy. Since 2010, the minimum wage rates have increased faster than average wages and inflation, meaning more money for the lowest paid.

This April, we increased the NLW to £8.72, meeting its target to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020, benefiting an estimated 2 million workers. A full-time worker on the NLW will be £930 better off, over the course of the year.

As well as increasing the NLW, the Government has announced an unprecedented series of measures to support businesses and their employees to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. This includes over £6.5 billion of extra support through the welfare system. The Government is continuously monitoring the evolving economic and labour market situation to identify the most effective ways to help people stay in or close to work both now and in the future. Data on the number of people earning the minimum wage who are living in poverty since 1 March 2020 is not currently available.

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