Driving recently with a constituent down the fabulous Spring blossom on Thatcham Avenue, I explained some of the changes that affect her family this April. ‘Oh she said, why doesn’t someone tell us all about this?’ So here goes:
- Effective from 6th April, the tax-free allowance rises to £12,500 a year, almost double the allowance of £6,475 in 2010 – meaning your take home pay has risen significantly in this decade
- Effective from 1st April, the government announced a 5% increase to the National Living Wage totalling £8.21 per hour, boosting the incomes of 1.8 million people by £690 a year
- Independent research shows Gloucestershire residents pay lower council tax than anywhere else in the South West region (well done County Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Quedgeley)
- The basic state pension has risen from £125.95 to £129.20 a week, an increase of £3.25 and equates to an extra £169 a year.
- Those in work can continue to access an additional 30 hours free childcare for 3-4 year olds (see https://www.gov.uk/30-hours-free-childcare)
These are all important changes for the new financial year designed to increase take home pay for both the young and old alike.
Meanwhile I’m continuing my cross-party campaign for Fair Funding for Our Colleges, with a meeting with the Chief Treasury on the issue and a debate in my name in Parliament, in which 50 MPs from several parties attended and contributed. This would make a big difference to GlosCol, apprenticeships and opportunities for the young.
I’m launching a 10 Minute Rule Bill on April 23rd on a levy for gambling companies, so that we can protect vulnerable gamblers better. I have also written a joint letter with a Labour MP to seek ministerial support to exempt Commonwealth Servicemen and women from an Application Fee for their Right to Remain after 4 years service in the UK.
Lastly, I stopped by at the BMX track in Kingsway to see different age groups enjoying the best track in Gloucester. One family had moved from Cheltenham recently and said that the space, cycling tracks and greenery there was better than anywhere in Cheltenham!
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