IN HIS first Chancellor’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid called on everyone to ‘get Brexit done’ and vowed to increase the National Living Wage to £10.50 by 2024, also extending it to people aged 21 and over.
Currently the National Living Wage is £8.21 but only applies to the over 25s. People aged 21 to 24 earn the lower ‘Minimum Wage’ of £7.70.
Mr Javid’s pledge equates to an almost 50p increase per year in contrast to the 30p-per-year rise over the last few years.
Earlier this year Labour pledged to raise the National Living Wage to £10-an-hour in 2020 and extend it to workers under 18 but fears were expressed such a radical rise could prove problematic for a number of small and medium-sized businesses.
On Brexit Mr Javid said: “We will do our duty responsibly and democratically, starting with getting Brexit done.
“It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of days.
“31 days – deal or no deal.”
He said to fail to deliver Brexit would tear the fabric of our society apart and claimed it was right to keep no-deal on the table as it was the best way to get a deal.
“In all my years negotiating multi-million pound deals I never once walked into a room without being able to walk away.”
He said on his first day as Chancellor he had told the treasury to increase the preparations and increased funding.
He added the Government had a ‘red tape challenge’ to remove bureaucracy to help businesses.
Under the Benn Act legislation voted through Parliament last month the Prime Minister is legally obliged to ask for a Brexit extension on October 19 if no deal can be reached.
Mr Javid also promised to boost Britain’s infrastructure with an £220million investment in buses, unveiling the first projects in the Government’s roads scheme and promising £5billion to help roll-out full fibre broadband and the 5G mobile network.