1st April

Obviously on April Fool’s Day there are the usual crop of tall stories to look out for this morning but the first day of April marks a whole new beginning for millions.

In Greater Manchester the merger of health and local government gets underway officially having been months in the planning. For the sake of all the 2.8 million who will be relying on it to work I hope it is a success.

For millions over the age of 25 on the national minimum wage it will mean a 50p per hour increase in their wages. Not so good news for employers and especially small firms although they will be helped by a range of other measures such as the cut in corporation tax, the reductions in employers national insurance and the extension of the business rates allowance.

For local rail passengers First Group take over the TransPennine Express franchise from today so good luck to them too.