The ONS said annual growth in regular earnings, excluding bonuses, was 6.2% in October to December 2023, while pay rises including bonuses was 5.8%.
After wages were adjusted for inflation, the ONS said workers enjoyed a fourth month of real wage increases. Total pay rose on the year by 1.6% above the consumer prices index and regular pay rose on the year by 1.9% in October to December 2023.
The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, said: “It’s good news that real wages are on the up for the sixth month in a row and unemployment remains low, but the job isn’t done. Our tax cuts are part of a plan to get people back to work so we can grow the economy – but we must stick with it.”
Read more here: UK pay growth slows less than expected as workers bid up wages
fretting about Bill Roche’s tax bill, the Daily Express wheel of headlines landed on dementia today, while the Independent leads on foreign secretary David Cameron’s warning to Israel to halt its assault on Gaza.
For us, the paper lead with the Rochdale byelection story, pressure on Israel over Rafah, and an interview with Esther Ghey by my colleague Helen Pidd.
Labour withdraws support for Rochdale candidate after Israel-Gaza remarks
Labour has withdrawn its support for Azhar Ali, its candidate for this month’s Rochdale byelection, in the wake of controversial comments he made about the 7 October attacks on Israel. In line with electoral law, Labour cannot replace Ali with another candidate because the deadline passed on 2 February. He will stand as a Labour candidate on the ballot paper, but if elected he will not hold the party whip and will sit as an independent MP.
Rishi Sunak has said he is “absolutely committed” to his Rwanda policy during a one-hour Q&A session on GB News in which he insisted he understands the country’s frustrations after 14 years of Conservative-led government. The prime minister told voters that the Rwanda deportations scheme was necessary as a “deterrent” to channel crossings.
Sunak’s government is also announcing a series of proposed changes to the planning system on Tuesday to encourage developers to build more homes. It is a mover the Conservatives claim is designed to boost development in urban areas even while housebuilding slumps nationally.
The Commons is in recess. The Lords is sitting from 2.30pm. The Senedd and the Scottish parliament are not sitting. In Stormont there is a plenary session from 10.30am and a business committee meeting from 1pm.
It is Martin Belam here with you today. I do try to read and dip into the comments when I can, but if you want to get my attention the best way is to email me – [email protected] – especially if you have spotted an error or typo.