By David Mackie
The increasing of the minimum wage into a ‘living wage’, announced by George Osborne in today’s Budget, has been tentatively welcomed by people in Horsforth.
The announcement, saved until the end of Osborne’s speech as his ‘rabbit from the hat’ moment, means that the living wage will rise to £7.20 an hour next year, reaching £9 an hour by 2019.
Labour, wrong-footed by the announcement, have been quick to dismiss the new Living Wage as merely a rebranded minimum wage.
The key points from the budget are:
– Local councils to decide on Sunday trading hours
– Personal tax allowance raised to £11,000 from next year
– 2% of national income to be spent on defence
– £3,000 off national insurance contributions for employers
– National ‘living wage’ set to £9 by 2020
– From April 2017 a £1m bequeathment will be free of inheritance tax
– BBC are to pick up the cost of free TV licences for over-75s
– Public sector pay is to rise 1% a year for four years
– Student Maintenance Grants to be abolished and replaced by loans
See our live blog of the Budget as it happened here.