AN extra 11,000 people in the region will no longer pay income tax from this weekend when the tax-free personal allowance increases to £10,000, the Government says.

Ministers say 123,000 North-East residents have now been lifted out of income tax following a series of rises in the tax-free bracket.

The Government claims that more than one million people in the region have benefited from the personal allowance increases over the past four years.

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The Prime Minister said: “A key part of this Government’s long-term economic plan is to cut taxes so that people can keep more of the money they earn and feel more financially secure.

“From this weekend, you will not pay a single penny of income tax on everything you earn up to £10,000.

“Nearly every single worker across the country will get a tax cut and over 3 million will pay no income tax at all. It says to the hard-working people of this country: we are on your side - and it’s one of the proudest things I have done in Government.”

In response, Middlesbrough South MP Tom Blenkinsop said the figures ignored the fact that in his constituency real average weekly incomes, adjusted to the consumer price index, were down £116.

He added: “This also doesn't take into account that the lowest paid have had tax credits taken from them, the lowest paid are the worst affected by the bedroom tax and the lowest paid are still facing national insurance anomalies.”