The Tory magic trick: wages rise but you end up poorer

The Tories and the mainstream media are busy trumpeting the good news: a record increase in wages. Yes, wages jumped 3.1 percent in the three months to August, the 'highest rate since the financial crash' crowed the Financial Times.
The news was so uplifting that the value of sterling rose as a result.
But don't go ordering the Prosecco just yet... Writes John Rees



Buried in the small print is the news that after inflation the rise in real wages is a barely visible 0.4 percent. And even this comes after real pay has fallen by 6 percent since 2007.
That adds up to the longest decline in real wages since the Empress Victoria sat on the throne in the 1870s.

No wonder inflation is eating into pay. The Retail Price Index (RPI) has risen by 27 percent, one of the highest rates in the industrialised world and unprecedented for an economy where growth is as weak as it is in the UK.

Of course the Tories have abandoned using the RPI for pay bargaining...but they still use it when calculating rail fare increases and for payments to speculators in government bonds. Its one inflation rate for the rich and another for the poor.

In a masterpiece of civil service understatement, even David Freeman, the head of labour markets at the Office for National Statistics, had to admit that after inflation is taken into account wage 'growth was much more subdued'. 

And the bosses have no plans to end the pay squeeze any time soon. The British Chamber of Commerce said 'pay growth...remains well below the historic average, meaning the current squeeze on spending power is unlikely to ease'.

Meanwhile the new boss of Royal Mail paid no tax on his £5.8 million pound 'golden hello'. That payment would alone pay the
wages of 250 postal workers.


And High Court Judges are in line for a whacking 32 percent pay rise of £60,000 a year. That increase is double the average full time wage in the UK.
Overall the top executives got an 11 percent pay increase last year. That's more than 20 times the increase that workers got.
The truth is the pay of working people is too low to sustain a decent life for them or a dynamic economy. Austerity is a failed project and the Tories own that failure. They have to go. That's why the People's Assembly is launching its new campaign: Britain is Broken, we can't afford the Tories. Be part of it. Come along to the launch on 28 Nov. See here for the Facebook Event or go to eventbrite to book your ticket. Even though this is a free event we are asking people to book a ticket so we can keep an eye on the numbers.
You can donate towards this campaign here. All donations will go towards venue hire, national speaking tour, publicity and a national mass mobilisation in Spring 2019.



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  • Ben Lewis
    commented 2018-10-18 14:54:20 +0100
    History repeating itself.
    “You have never had it so Good”
    Harold MacMillan Rubbish.

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