By Jonathan Davies

Ikea is to become the first retailer in the UK to pay more than the new National Living Wage introduced by the Chancellor George Osborne.

The Swedish flat pack furniture retailer will pay its 9,000 staff at least £7.85 an hour from 2016. It is above the mandatory £7.20 for over 25 year olds, announced in the Chancellor's Summer Budget. In London, Ikea will pay a Living Wage of £9.15.

It is £1.35 per hour more than the current National Minimum Wage for those aged 21 and over.

Rhys Moore, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: "This is a huge step for the British retail sector and we hope that many other businesses will follow the leadership IKEA is showing on the issue of basic pay."