Families in Northern Ireland have an extra £8 per week to spend on non essentials but still lag well behind the rest of the UK in terms of discretionary income.
According to Asda’s latest Income Tracker, families in the Province are better off for the period between April and June, compared to the quarter last year, but their discretionary income of £103 per week contrasts sharply with the £201 average. Even the north east of England, which has traditionally been the closest region to NI in terms of spending power, experienced a significant improvement with families now having £133 per week to spend.
The slower rate of growth in Northern Ireland is said to reflect lower rates of pay across the country compared with other UK regions .
Almost 10 per cent of NI workers in 2014 were employed at or below the minimum wage compared with just over five per cent across the UK.
Welsh households saw the fastest growth in gross income (2.8 per cent) in the second quarter of the year.