MP WELCOMES BOOST TO THE LOWEST-PAID IN NORTH OXFORDSHIRE AS NATIONAL LIVING WAGE BEGINS

Victoria Prentis MP has welcomed last week’s launch of the Government’s new National Living Wage – giving a big boost to the lowest-paid in North Oxfordshire.

Workers aged 25 and over and not in the first year of an apprenticeship are now legally entitled to at least £7.20 an hour under the National Living Wage. This will mean an extra 50 pence an hour compared to the National Minimum Wage, which equates to a £20 a week pay rise for a full time worker.

The National Living Wage, which came into effect on 1 April, is likely to benefit 1.3 million hardworking people across the country and is set to rise to £9 an hour by 2020. Meanwhile, 6 million more could see a pay rise as a result of a ripple effect pushing wages up across Britain.

At the same time, the tax-free personal allowance will be increased. From 6 April 2016 the personal allowance will rise to £11,000 – a saving of £80 – and from April 2017 it will rise again to £11,500 – taking 1.3 million of the lowest-paid workers out of income tax altogether and giving a tax cut to 31 million across the country. Workers and employers can find more information online at www.livingwage.gov.uk.

Victoria commented: “North Oxfordshire deserves a pay rise and I’m very proud to be part of a Conservative party that is delivering the higher-wage, lower-tax, lower-welfare economy we all want to see.

Boosting wages and making sure that more families have the security of a decent, regular pay packet, while ensuring that people are always better off in work, are at the heart of our long-term plan. We have virtually no unemployment in Banbury, Bicester and the surrounding villages. This is something we can be proud of, and the new National Living Wage will support this positive development.

While I understand that this will be an adjustment for some employers, it is a crucial step in the right direction for both North Oxfordshire and the rest of the UK. We are backing hard work and aspiration, creating opportunities for hardworking people.”