The U.K.’s chancellor of the exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, on Monday outlined plans to lift Britain’s minimum wage.
In a speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Britain’s treasury minister said the country is planning to increase minimum hourly pay to at least £11 ($13.37) from the current £10.42.
The hike is set to lift pay for 2 million workers, with the final rate to be decided by the Low Pay Commission — an independent group that advises the government.
The Low Pay Commission said in November 2022 that the U.K. government should aim to increase Britain’s national minimum wage to an hourly rate of between £10.82 and £11.35.
The chancellor’s policy pledge comes ahead of a looming general election, which must be held on a date no later than Jan. 28, 2025.
An £11 hourly rate would place Britain’s minimum wage significantly above the minimum wages in major economies including the United States, Japan and Germany, according to OECD data as of 2022.
|Country||Minimum wage, as of 2022, in dollars|
Luxembourg currently offers Europe’s highest minimum wage, with rates equivalent to nearly $14.
Italy, the European Union’s third-biggest economy, currently has no minimum wage.
Britain’s higher minimum wage would also lift the U.K.’s minimum hourly rate above those mandated in all but 10 U.S. states, as well as in the District of Columbia, according to Congressional Research Service data as of March.
Although the U.S. federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, 30 states mandate higher minimum wages, with the District of Columbia offering the highest minimum wage, at $17 an hour.
The median minimum wage in the states that have set higher floors than the federal minimum is $12 per hour.