I WAS delighted to read that more people than ever across our region are to receive a pay rise as the biggest ever increase to the National Living Wage comes into effect.

In what is a great economic boost for our region the latest Government figures show that 222,000 people in the North West working on the National Living Wage will get a five per cent pay rise to £8.21 per hour, worth an extra £690 over the course of the year.

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.

Since the Conservatives introduced the National Living Wage in 2016 we’ve seen wages for the lowest paid receive their biggest rise in 20 years – that means more hard cash in the pockets of hard-working people at the end of each month.

The announcement comes on the back of employment figures released last week that 130,000 new jobs were created in the North West last year, with the national unemployment rate at 3.9 per cent, the lowest level in 44 years.

This is all really good news, helping to boost the regional economy, while ensuring those in the lowest paid jobs are being helped financially.

Councillor James Airey

Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Westmorland and Lonsdale