Monday 16 February 2015

Real wages continue to fall but Labour will continue public sector pay freeze

Today is the start of TUC Fair Pay Fortnight. The TUC has produced figures to show that the much-trumpeted recovery has not halted the continual decline in real wages.

The TUC estimates that real wages have fallen by over £2,200 for the average worker, since the Tories came to power. They also point out that the relentless attack on our wages has led to a loss of tax revenue to the Government of at least £33 billion. That's more than the planned £30bn of cuts that Tories, Liberal Democrats and LABOUR all voted should be made on the next Parliament, whoever wins the election.

Here, in Wales, wages fell in average by a further £300 last year.

Miliband, at Welsh Labour Conference, in Swansea this last weekend, spoke about Labour's pledge to increase wages. The Mirror today hailed this as a "hike in wages" but look at the detail. Labour is promising £8 an hour by 2020. That's just 15p more than the Current Living Wage outside London. It's already less than the London Living Wage; by 2020 it will be less than the Living Wage - what we're told we need to get by on - for all of us.

Even the Living Wage only provides enough to get by on when supplemented by working benefits in many cases. That's why the Bakers Union, BFAWU demanded and won TUC backing for £10/hour - the real minimum needed for workers. Unlike Labour, TUSC backs official TUC policy and demands £10/hour now.

In any case, Labour's claims to want to address the issue of falling wages can't be taken seriously while they remain committed to maintaining the Con-Dems' public spending cuts, including the cap public sector wage increases.

TUSC supports all workers taking action to halt the decline in their living standards, something else Labour has repeatedly failed to do.

Use Fair Pay Fortnight to highlight the issue of low pay.
Support the BFAWU/Youth Fight For Jobs/Hungry for Justice campaign for £10 Now!
Build TUSC as a political alternative, fighting to reverse the decline in workers' real wages.

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