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Treasury: Falling inflation 'a sign our plan is working'

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has welcomed the fall in inflation:

Alexander: Public sector pay deal is a 'fair balance'

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has told ITV News' Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship the government's pay deal to public sector workers is a "right, fair balance".

It was announced today that public sector workers will receive a one per cent increase to their pay, apart from those who already receive "progresson-in-job" increases due their length of service. These increases are typically worth more than three per cent.

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Alexander: 'Risks of independence becoming clearer'

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has said that the risks of Scottish independence are "becoming ever clearer". He said: "What we've seen today with Standard Life and RBS are the risks of independence becoming ever clearer."

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

He added: "It’s common-sense that when you have something that works there will be adverse consequences if you rip it apart. The strength and stability of the United Kingdom is the essential underpinning of Scotland’s successful financial services sector over several centuries.

"These businesses are reasonably and fairly setting out the consequences of the SNP’s dangerous, risky, and unclear plans for independence. I doubt they’ll be the last.”

Treasury 'failing to review royal financial management'

Margaret Hodge, the PAC's chairman, criticised the Treasury for failing to be more actively involved in reviewing the household's financial planning and management, including in the plans to maintain historical buildings.

A Treasury spokesman said: "The new arrangements established by the Sovereign Grant Act have made the royal finances more transparent than ever while providing the long term stability necessary for good planning.

The PAC's report has failed to properly account for these changes."

TUC: Take Govt's figures 'with several tonnes of salt'

The Government's figures on take home pay should be taken "with several tonnes of salt", the TUC has claimed.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said the figures "do not include the effects of tax credits and benefits".

Freezing child benefit has hit families hard.

The figures use the lowest possible measure of inflation (CPI), which excludes housing costs, and is not the one that the government uses to index rail fares (RPI) and other important contributors to living costs.

The analysis also uses the most generous possible measure for wages, and not the one that the Government uses (average weekly earnings) when measuring incomes.

– TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady

IFS: Govt's figures 'do not reflect household incomes'

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the Government's figures on take home pay do not reflect what has happened to household incomes overall.

IFS director Paul Johnson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that although the Government used "a perfectly sensible set of numbers", there were "two problems" that need to be taken into account.

An analysis of take home pay figures circulated by the Treasury has suggested all but the top 10% of earners saw a rise last year. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

He said: "First, we have other sets of data - the Office for National Statistics publishes an average weekly earnings index. That went up quite a lot less quickly than inflation in the most recent months.

"And of course they are not taking account of reductions in things like benefits which were occurring over the time. So if you are looking at household incomes, that will be different from what's happened to take home pay."

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Miliband: PM 'doesn't understand' people's lives

Labour leader Ed Miliband said David Cameron has "shown millions of people he doesn't understand their lives" after the Prime Minister claimed there are "positive signs" that take home pay is rising:

Labour: Government's take home pay figures 'selective'

Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s shadow treasury minister, said the Coalition's claim that take home pay was rising was based on "highlyselective figures".

The Tories are totally out of touch to claim people facing a cost-of-living crisis are actually better off under them.

These highly selective figures from the Tories do not even include the impact of things like cuts to tax credits and child benefit which have hit working families hard.

The truth is that under David Cameron real wages have fallen by over £1,600 a year and analysis of IFS figures show families are on average £891 worse off as a result of tax and benefit changes since 2010.

At the same time this government has given a huge tax cut to people earning over £150,000.

Treasury: Take home pay rising above inflation last year

The Prime Minister has insisted there are "positive signs" that take-home pay is rising.

An analysis of take home pay figures circulated by the Treasury has suggested all but the top 10% of earners saw a rise last year.

Overall people saw their take home pay rise by a third more than the rate of CPI inflation, currently 2%.

  1. Libby Wiener

Alexander defends Government's fracking incentives

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has defended the Government's plan to allow councils which give fracking the go-ahead to keep 100 per cent of the business rates they collect.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has defended the Government's fracking incentives for councils. Credit: Press Association

Asked if that amounted to a bribe, he told ITV News: "Fracking offers a significant opportunity for the UK economy. It's a potential source of considerable amounts of energy for our country.

"In common with other areas of energy development where local authorities are allowed to keep business rates, and where there are other incentives for communities - it's important and fair we should treat fracking in the same way."

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