Real Wage Statistics Burst Treasury MP’s Bubble

12 Aug 2013

Tory Treasury Minister Sajid Javid claimed that the economy’s on track - just as official stats showed Britain’s wages plummeting at one of the fastest rates in the EU. Writing in the Telegraph, the wealthy former corporate banker ignored growing evidence of a complete breakdown in ordinary people’s economic well-being to tell us: “Momentum has returned.”  But new wage figures immediately cast doubt on the minister’s rosy assessment.

Official statistics show that British workers’ pay has suffered one of the biggest falls of any EU country since the Con-Dem coalition was elected. Average hourly wages have plunged by 5.5 per cent in real terms - even worse than Spain, which has been battered by a huge financial crisis. Its workers have faced a 3.3 per cent cut in income. Only the Netherlands and crisis-hit Greece and Portugal registered a bigger fall.

General union GMB leader Paul Kenny attacked Tory ministers for pursuing policies that have transferred wealth away from ordinary working people. “The government is directly responsible for this unprecedented fall in the real value of wages in the three years since the election. Employers paying low wages get taxpayer subsidies in the form of tax credits to assemble a workforce for them to make decent profit margins. The government has also made it easier for employers to abuse staff and made it more difficult for them to do anything about it.”

Labour has calculated that workers will have lost £6,660 in pay between the Tories’ 2010 victory and the next election in 2015. Shadow Treasury minister Cathy Jamieson said today’s figures showed the “full scale of David Cameron’s cost of living crisis. Despite out of touch claims by ministers, life is getting harder for ordinary families as prices continue rising faster than wages.”

Source - Morning Star