A pay rise for millions of workers

Brexit may understandably dominate the headlines and time in Parliament but a number of significant measures were introduced this month that will make a real difference to Crawley workers and families that are worth highlighting too.

I welcome not just the increase of the tax-free Personal Allowance to £12,500, but that it has been done a year earlier than originally planned. This means workers will get to keep more of what they earn; indeed a basic rate taxpayer will pay £1,200 less tax in 2019-20 than in 2010-11.

A boost to the National Living Wage will see millions of workers gain a pay rise. From April the National Living Wage rose from £7.83 an hour to £8.21; the biggest pay rise for low paid workers in 20 years.

A full-time worker earning the National Living Wage will be more than £2,750 better off over-the-year compared to 2015.

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.

Recently I was pleased to welcome new figures showing that this term, more than 5,200 children in West Sussex are benefiting from the Government’s 30 hours free childcare offer.

This offer saves working families around £5,000 per year per child. Nationally, 325,000 families have benefited in the current school term alone; an 11 per cent increase on the same time last year.

This means that more parents can not only increase their working hours but can also work more flexibly; spending less on childcare so there is more spare cash to spend on their families.

Henry Smith MP