February 18, 2020

Employment hits record high

New jobs figures this week show that employment is at a record high – with more people in work than ever before. And unemployment is at its lowest since 1974, giving families the security of a good job and more money in their pockets thanks to another month of rising wages.

Now we are embarking on a bright future outside the EU. We are delivering on people’s priorities and helping families with the cost of living through lower taxes, higher wages and more well-paid jobs – including by giving the National Living Wage its largest cash boost ever from this April.

At the People’s Government’s first Budget on March 11 we will set out our plans to repay the trust people have placed in us – levelling up and unleashing the country’s potential, ushering in a decade of renewal.

Wages are continuing to rise

Average weekly earnings for employees in the UK has risen by 3.2% in the last twelve months. That means that, now, employment is at its highest level since before the financial crisis.

And we are giving the National Living Wage its largest cash boost ever in April. The living wage will rise to £8.72 – giving nearly 3 million people a well-earned pay rise – and reach £10.50 by 2024.

Employment is at a record high

Employment has reached a record high of 32.93 million, up almost 4 million since 2010. That means unemployment is now at its lowest rate since 1974 – just 3.8%, and has more than halved since 2010.

We are tirelessly working to make real work pay, and this Conservative government has promised it will not raise the rate of income tax, VAT or National Insurance throughout the lifetime of Parliament. That promise means families across the whole United Kingdom will benefit from a Conservative economic plan, helping people with the cost of living and ensuring they will get the full benefit of economic growth.

We're cutting taxes for millions

Our Conservative manifesto promised not to increase income tax, VAT, or National Insurance. And this government has pledged to cut national insurance tax for millions across the country.

In fact, we will increase the National Insurance threshold to £9,500, saving people approximately £100 – cutting taxes for 31 million people and building on our changes to the personal allowance, and taking hundreds of thousands out of paying national insurance tax completely.

That means 31 million hardworking people across the country will receive more money in their pocket every year thanks to this Conservative Government, as we deliver on our manifesto pledges we laid out in the General Election.

Labour puts our economy at risk

The Labour Party are out of touch with people’s priorities across the whole United Kingdom. Their policies would not help with the cost of living. Instead, Labour’s reckless spending plans would risk the economic growth we have earned as a country for the last decade.

Lisa Nandy, Keir Starmer, and Rebecca Long-Bailey all wanted Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister in December and stood on a manifesto that would have cost the average taxpayer £2,400 a year. Labour’s plans to spend £1.2 trillion would have hit ordinarily families in their pockets, leaving every taxpayer to pay an additional £2,400 in tax annually.

We can’t take the risk of a Labour Government. Only the Conservatives can deliver for working people, by supporting businesses with lower taxes, better infrastructure and strike new post-Brexit free trade deals around the world to make people better off here at home. Only the Conservatives will keep our economy strong, create more high-paid jobs, fund spending on our shared priorities like our NHS, schools and police, and spread opportunity across the whole United Kingdom.

Region Labour's Pension Tax (£) Extra Months to Work
England 11,167 44
East Midlands 6,150 50
Greater London 12,871 45
North East 9,758 38
North West 6,835 47
South East 14,270 40
South West 7,407 45
West Midlands 10,729 41
Northern Ireland 13,718 35
Scotland 10,653 41
Wales 11,691 36
United Kingdom 11,253 43

Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:

“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”

Read more about how this Pension Tax will impact millions of savers (PDF)