"BRITAIN needs a pay rise", a Newport MP has said.

Speaking in Parliament earlier this week, Newport East's Jessica Morden asked business, energy and industrial strategy secretary Margot James what steps the UK Government was taking to increase wages and salaries across the UK.

Ms James replied: "We need an economy that works for everyone. We are developing the industrial strategy to improve living standards and boost earning power, so that everyone in our country can share the benefits of our economic success."

Labour MP Ms Morden, who has represented Newport East in Parliament since 2005, also said she was particularly concerned to see data showing average weekly earnings across the UK are reportedly lower in real terms than they were in 2007.

"With the Institute for Fiscal Studies saying that the flatlining of real wages is unprecedented since at least the end of the Second World War, does the minister accept that Britain needs a pay rise?," she said.

"What are ministers doing to tackle this?"

Conservative secretary Ms James replied: "That is one of the reasons why the government have introduced the national living wage, as a means of boosting the earning power of people at the lower end of the pay scale.

"I acknowledge that average earnings have been static over the past year, but it is important to recognise that people on the national minimum wage were given a four per cent pay rise in April this year, and 1.3 million of those people have been taken out of paying income tax altogether."

According to Welsh Government data average weekly earnings in Newport have increased by 15 per cent since 2007.