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Henry Smith MP: New schemes to help with the cost of living

Crawley MP Henry Smith, on new Government schemes that aid working families when it comes to childcare, raising of the tax-free Personal Allowance and the introduction and increasing of the National Living Wage.

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One of the most important tasks for working families is to secure affordable and quality childcare, which is why I welcome the latest figures which show more than 4,700 children in West Sussex are benefiting from the Government’s 30 hours free childcare offer.

Working families save around £5,000 per year per child and more than 200,000 children benefited nationally in the scheme’s first term. There are now nearly 300,000 children in 30 hours places in England.

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By 2020, around £6 billion will be spent helping parents with the cost of childcare. In addition to the 30 hours scheme, there is also funding for 15 hours of free childcare for disadvantaged 2 year olds and support for parents through Tax Free Childcare, which provides up to £2,000 per child per year to help towards childcare costs.

Independent evaluation of pilot sites found that access to 30 hours of free childcare not only improved family finances, but supported a better work-life balance and enabled parents to extend their working hours if they wish to do so.

The offer, along with the raising of the tax-free Personal Allowance and the introduction and increasing of the National Living Wage (NLW), is just one scheme brought in to help with the cost of living.

Further increases to the Personal Allowance mean that this April, 31 million people will see their income tax bill cut by over £1,000 since 2010. A total of 4 million of the lowest paid will be taken out of paying income tax altogether.

This week I voted in favour of measures to help working families which will see 50,000 more children become eligible to receive free school meals.

As a result of increases to the Personal Allowance threshold and NLW coming into effect from April, a full-time worker earning the NLW in Crawley will be taking home over £3,800 more per year after tax compared to a full-time minimum wage worker in 2010.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Youth unemployment rate falls to record low as wages rise

Crawley MP welcomes new figures which show the number of people in Crawley who are unemployed has seen a 56% drop since 2010.

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Figures released show that unemployment has remained at its lowest rate in more than four decades. Meanwhile, youth unemployment has fallen to its lowest rate since records began.

Latest figures show that wages are continuing to rise faster than prices, helping families keep more money in their pockets.

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Employment has increased in the south east of England, with 4,539,818 people in work – an increase of 347,818 more people in work since 2010.

Henry Smith MP has welcomed the new figures which show that in Crawley the number of people who are unemployed has fallen by 1,294 – a 56 per cent drop – since 2010.

There are three million more people in work since 2010 – an average of 1,000 more people into work each and every day.

Henry said:

“As a result of the reforms undertaken over the last eight years and policies that have generated our economic recovery, the unemployment and youth unemployment rates are at record lows. This means more people have the security of a good job and a regular pay cheque.

“Thanks to this action, more people are being helped into work. Through the modern Industrial Strategy, businesses are receiving backing to create jobs across the whole country – but there’s more to do.

“Wages are continuing to rise faster than prices, meaning pay packets can go further in Crawley and nationwide.”

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