Paying the forecasted increase in the National Living Wage (NLW) for the lowest paid council staff alone could cost councils at least £400 million over the next two years, the Local Government Association says today.

In the Spring Statement, the Government reiterated its target for the NLW to reach two thirds of median earnings by 2024. The most recent forecasts published by the Low Pay Commission indicate that the NLW could increase by almost 20 per cent in the next two years.  

The LGA said bringing the pay of the lowest-paid council staff in line with these forecasts would cost almost £400 million. The true cost is likely to be significantly higher given the knock-on impact of the dramatic rise in minimum pay levels on other local government pay grades and the increased cost of commissioned or outsourced services, such as adult social care.

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