This is my Westminster Diary which featured in this week’s (April 5th) Redditch Standard:

As a Conservative, I believe working people should keep as much of their hard-earned money as possible, receive a fair wage and in keeping taxes as low as possible.

On Monday (April 1st), people in Redditch working on the National Living Wage received a 5% pay rise, worth an extra £690 over the course of the year, in the biggest pay rise for low paid workers in 20 years.

From 1 April, the National Living Wage went up by the highest rate since it was first introduced in 2016 by the Conservative Government, increasing to £8.21 per hour – giving almost two million of the lowest paid a pay rise.

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.

The National Minimum Wage is also increasing, to £7.70 per hour for 21 to 24-year olds and to £6.15 for 18 to 20-year olds, with workers in the retail and hospitality sectors due to benefit the most.

The UK’s minimum wage rates are among the highest in the world and, through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are determined to end low pay and workers get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

After reading all these stats and figures I go back to the point I made at the beginning of my column. I believe workers deserve a fair wage because it means they’ll have more money in the pockets at the end of the month – this month’s National Living Wage boost achieves this.

The more money people have in their pockets, the better quality of life they can provide their family with, the more money they can save to buy their first home or move to a new home as their family increases. All this is absolutely at the heart of why I am a Conservative.

I’m proud to be part of a government which has the interests of British workers at the heart of everything it does.