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New TUC analysis shows falling value of UK wages

By agency reporter
March 1, 2017

New analysis from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) finds that the UK ranks 103 out of 112 countries for pay growth since the financial crisis.

The analysis shows that while workers in most countries saw real terms pay increases between 2008 and 2015, UK workers saw the value of their wages fall.

The TUC warns that the UK’s poor global ranking is unlikely to improve soon, with the latest monthly figures showing real wage growth at its lowest rate for almost two years.

The Office for Budgetary Responsibility and the Bank of England both expect real wages to continue fall. And the TUC says that with prices being pushed up in the shops by the falling pound, the threat of another living standards crisis has increased.

Research published last year by the TUC revealed that the UK experienced the sharpest fall in real wages of any OECD country with the exception of Greece. Today’s analysis shows that this fall was not only bad among developed countries, but globally too.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “UK workers suffered one of the worst pay squeezes in in the world after the financial crash. And with food prices and household bills shooting up again, another living standards crisis is a real danger.

“Next month’s budget must have a clear plan for helping hard-pressed families – millions are still worse off than before the crash.

“The Chancellor should end the pay restrictions on nurses, teachers and other key workers that are making them thousands of pounds poorer. And if we are to build a high wage economy we need stronger action to raise pay in low-pay, low-productivity sectors – and that means giving those workers stronger rights to collective pay bargaining.”

* -The analysis is based on figures issued by the International Labour Organisation alongside their Global Wage Report 2016/15 (published on 15 December 2016):which can be downloaded here

*TUC https://www.tuc.org.uk/

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