Chancellor Philip Hammond speaks in Parliament, March 13, 2019. UK Parliament/Mark Duffy/Handout via REUTERS

The government will launch a review into the future of the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage after 2020, Chancellor Philip Hammond MP has confirmed in his Spring Statement.

The review will be conducted by Dr Arin Dube, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“This study will support the extensive discussions that we will be having with employer organisations, trades unions and the LPC itself over the coming months,” said Hammond.

The Low Pay Commission’s current remit is for the National Living Wage to reach 60 percent of median earnings by 2020, estimated at £8.62 per hour. The National Living Wage is set to rise to £8.21 per hour on 1 April 2019 alongside a rise in the National Minimum Wage to £7.70 per hour.

Responding to the announcement, James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said: “Wage rates are a significant cost for retailers, and since the introduction of the National Living Wage in 2015, many businesses have had to cut back on staff hours, investment plans and even overall staff numbers to be able to afford the annual increases, so we’re keen to ensure that any future change is introduced with consideration of the impact on business.”

Chancellor also announced a consultation on ‘Planning for Future High Streets’ in the coming months.

Convenience stores welcomed the allocation of additional £100 million funding to police to fight knife and violent crime.

“Crime is one of the main concerns of independent retailers, who cannot afford to hire security staff and often work alone late in the evening. The NFRN, which provides the secretariat for the APPG on Retail Crime, will continue its efforts to make sure violent crime is high on the political agenda,” said Mike Mitchelson, national president of the federation.