The media publicity must have paid off, three times as many people know that the new National Living Wage will be set at £7.20 an hour compared to those that know that the existing National Minimum Wage is £6.70 an hour.

More than half the population want the National Living Wage to be higher and in due course their wish will be granted as it is predicted to increase to £9.00 an hour by 2020.

Further endorsement of the initiative is that more than seven out of 10 of us think that the National Living Wage is a good idea.

Although the above data was sourced from questions that we asked the nation there was one question which we didn’t ask, namely, who is going to pay for the new National Living Wage?

The answer could be that we are all going to pay for it. Let me explain why.

First of all when a business incurs additional costs, it can either absorb these costs (not sustainable in the long term) or pass on some or all of these costs to its customers otherwise it will go bust.

Gradually increasing the pay of the lowest paid is also going to increase the pay of the not-so-lowest paid – a rising tide lifts all boats. Therefore everything we buy or consume is going to cost the producer or provider more and some of this will filter down into higher prices for the customer (i.e. you and me).

In addition, if everything becomes more expensive the government will be getting in on the action – anything which attracts VAT will attract a little bit more VAT which will be lining the government’s pocket.

Finally, if all our wages are going to increase that’s more National Insurance and more income tax that we will be asked to pay.

It looks like the biggest beneficiary of the National Living Wage could be Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

For more information go to data tables in our Public Opinion online data sets or contact Richard Lindsay.

This public opinion data has been collected and analysed by NEMS from a survey of a representative sample of UK adults conducted through NEMS Market Research’s telephone Omnibus, a national survey of 1000 adults conducted every week.

More details of our omnibus service can be found at: