The new laws that could affect your wallet when they come into force this week

Key changes will be made to the minimum wage and pensions

Caroline Mortimer
Monday 03 April 2017 09:25
The money in your pocket will be affected by legislation coming in on 6 April
The money in your pocket will be affected by legislation coming in on 6 April

A raft of new laws are due to come into force this week which could affect your wallet for better or worse.

Here The Independent looks at some of the key changes:

Increase to the minimum wage

The new minimum wage for people aged 25 and over will go up by 30p to £7.50 per hour.

But younger workers are not quite so lucky and the wages of 21- to 24-year-olds will only increase by 10p from £6.95 per hour to £7.05 per hour.

For 18- to 20-year-olds that rate will increase just 5p from £5.55 to £5.60 per hour and for under-18s it will rise from £4 to £4.05 per hour.

The apprentice rate will increase from £3.40 to £3.50 per hour.

Former Chancellor George Osborne promised to raise the minimum wage, rebranded as the “National Living Wage” in 2015, to £9 by 2020.

But critics say it is not keeping up with the recommended wage set by Citizens UK which takes account of the cost of living.

The charity has currently set the wage needed for an acceptable standard of living at £8.45 per hour across the UK and £9.75 per hour in London.

Changes to pension law

New laws mean consumers will be able to claim a £500 tax-free allowance for employer-funded pensions advice from 6 April.

This means when combined with the Pensions Advice Allowance already introduced, people will be able to claim £1,000 worth of free pension advice.

The move follows on from reforms introduced during the Coalition government where employers were obliged to offer all their employees a workplace pension on an opt-out basis.

The scheme is designed to fend off a looming social security crisis as fewer and fewer people will be able to rely on the state for help as the population ages and the tax base is depleted.

The introduction of new “Immigration skills charge”

In 2016, the Government announced its new levy on companies that employ non-EU workers in a bid to reduce migrant numbers.

The charge, which will come into force on 6 April, means companies will be charged £1,000 per employee per year for every non-EU worker they employ with a reduced rate of £364 per worker for small or charitable organisations.

The charge will not apply to PhD-level jobs or to international students who are switching from student visas to working visas but could potentially apply to EU workers after Brexit is complete.

Immigration Minister Robert Goodwin proposed that the tax apply to skilled EU workers after Brexit in a bid to soothe the anger of many Brexiteers who voted Leave because they feared migrants were “taking their jobs”.

But the proposal was branded “idiotic” by the Liberal Democrats who said the plan would “kill off British business”.

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