PEOPLE in Wales have been 'alarmed' by changes to income tax in April next year - with some concerned rates are going to increase, a Gwent AM has said.

Control over 10p of income tax in every pound will be devolved to Wales at the start of the next financial year, meaning the Welsh Government could chose to cut bills by up to 10p per pound - or increase them.

Last month HMRC sent letters to every household in Wales explaining the changes. But, speaking in the Assembly this week, Torfaen AM Lynne Neagle said a number of constituents had since contacted her concerned rates were going to increase.

The Welsh Government has said there are no plans to increase income tax in April, and, ahead of the the 2016 Assembly Election, Labour promised not to increase income tax before the next election in 2021.

Labour AM Ms Neagle said: "I'm sure I'm not alone amongst members in this chamber in having to reassure constituents on receipt of that letter from HMRC that there are currently no plans to put up income tax in Wales, because the letter has, I think, alarmed some constituents, certainly of mine."

Addressing finance secretary Mark Drakeford, who in October suggested he may increase rates, saying he would not break with Labour's commitment "unless I'm compelled to do so", she asked Mr Drakeford to confirm tax would not go up.

Replying, Mr Drakeford said: "I'm sure she's not alone in having constituents come to ask about Welsh rates of income tax, and it's very good, I think, that local residents turn to AMs for explanation of these important changes.

"I'm glad that Lynne Neagle was able to offer the key assurance that members of her community will have been looking for - that we have no plans to raise rates of income tax here in Wales next year.

"We are following up every enquiry that has come to the Welsh Government as a result of letters that members of the public have received.

"I know that Lynne Neagle will be interested to learn that we directly have received fewer than five calls and five e-mails to the Welsh Government as a result of the letter that went out.

"HMRC has, so far, received 94 calls in relation to that letter. That is a very small fraction of the two million letters that were sent out."

But he vowed to learn from all concerned raised.

South Wales East AM Mohammad Asghar also suggested a breakdown of where income tax is paid to should be included on Welsh taxpayers' payslips and P60 forms. Mr Drakeford replied he would discuss the idea with HMRC.