Universal credit (UC)

Many of the UC rates will rise by about 6.7% from April 2024, including the standard and work allowances as well as the extra amounts for children, except for amounts in respect of first children born before 6 April 2017.

Also from April 2024, the maximum amount paid towards childcare costs for one child will rise to £1,014.63 a month, while for two or more children, the maximum payment increases to £1,739.37 a month.

From December 2024, the repayment period for new budgeting advance loans taken out by UC claimants will be doubled to 24 months.


Don’t ignore UC. The income ceiling for UC now stretches well beyond £70,000 for some couples. UC – even just 1p a month – can unlock other benefits so you should check your eligibility.

Local housing allowance (LHA) 

As previously announced, LHA rates will rise to the 30th percentile of local market rents from April 2024.

National living wage (NLW) and national minimum wage (NMW)

Significant increases are being made to the NLW and NMW, and the NLW minimum age is lowered to 21 from April 2024.

RatAge £ per hour
from 1/4/24
over 2023/24 
NLW 21 and above £11.44 9.8%*
NMW  18–20 £8.60 14.8% 
16–17 £6.40 21.2% 
Apprentice rate All£6.40 21.2% 

*12.4% increase against the 2023/24 NMW for 21–22-year-olds

Childcare future funding

The government has confirmed that the hourly rate for childcare providers who are paid to deliver the free hours offers for children aged nine months to four years will increase in line with the basis used in Spring Budget 2023 for the next two years. This represents an estimated additional £500 million of funding over two years.