Good news this week as changes to both the National Living Wage and tax thresholds come into force.
157,000 people in East Midlands working on the National Living Wage have received a 5% pay rise today. This is worth an extra £690 over the course of the year, which is the biggest pay rise for low paid workers in 20 years.
From 1 April, our National Living Wage has gone up by the highest rate since it was first introduced, increasing by almost 5% to £8.21 per hour – giving almost two million of the lowest paid a pay rise.
This increase means that a full-time worker receiving the National Living Wage will be more than £2,750 better off over-the-year compared to 2015.
In addition to this rise, the increase in income tax threshold also means that no tax will be paid on the first £12,500. Annual rises in this tax threshold mean that basic rate taxpayers now pay £1,205 less in income tax than they did in 2010.
The National Minimum Wage is also increasing, to £7.70 per hour for 21 to 24-year olds and to £6.15 for 18 to 20-year olds, with workers in the retail and hospitality sectors due to benefit the most.
These changes are particularly important in our local area, where wages are low by comparison with other parts of the country. There’s still more to do and I continue to look at the ways in which we can bring more skilled and high paid jobs into our local area.