NEARLY five million Brits will get salary rises as Rishi Sunak unfreezes public sector pay and hikes the national minimum wage.
But he will use his Budget this Wednesday to end that pain.
And Mr Sunak is expected to hike the minimum wage from £8.91 — with some sources suggesting it could go up to as much as £9.45.
That would give the two million or so on rock-bottom figure a £1,000 annual increase for a 35-hour week from next year.
The potential five per cent rise comes just weeks after Boris Johnson said Brits deserved to be paid more.
And it puts the national minimum wage well on target to hit £10 by the time of the next general election, scheduled for 2024.
Currently, Brits aged 23 and over are entitled to be paid a minimum of £8.91 per hour, with a lower sum of £8.36 for 21 and 22-year-olds.
The rates are set on advice from the Low Pay Commission, which is due to make their recommendations to Mr Sunak today.
The independent expert body has previously hinted a big rise for 2022 is coming but there is concern in the Treasury about the impact on small businesses.
The PM told the Conservative Party conference in Manchester this month: “We are not going back to the same old broken model with low wages, low growth, low skills and low productivity.”
And he urged businesses to put up wages.
But senior Tories are very aware such a plea would need to be matched by the Government giving support.
Shops and hauliers have already been forced to hike wages in an attempt to fill worker shortages.
And aspiring lorry drivers have been offered £1,000 joining bonuses and higher wages as firms struggle with the HGV driver shortfall.
Mr Sunk, asked if pay was going up, yesterday said: “We will have to set a new pay policy and that will be a topic for the spending review.”