Commenting on the take-home pay figures released today (Friday) by the Treasury, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady (pictured, above) said:
“Today’s claims on take-home pay show just how much union campaigning is shaping the political agenda.
“But they need taking with several tons of salt. They do not include the effects of tax credits and benefits. Freezing child benefit has hit families hard.
“The figures use the lowest possible measure of inflation (CPI), which excludes housing costs, and is not the one that the government uses to index rail fares (RPI) and other important contributors to living costs.
“The analysis also uses the most generous possible measure for wages, and not the one that the government uses (average weekly earnings) when measuring incomes.
“The Institute for Fiscal Studies is confident that living standards will still be lower at the time of the next election than they were before the crash and at the last election. That is the inevitable result of austerity economics that has delayed the return of growth and produced an unbalanced recovery based on household borrowing and rising house prices.
According to a TUC poll conducted just before Christmas only one in fifty voters (two per cent) say they are benefiting from the recovery. More than half (58 per cent) ‘expect the gains of an economic recovery to go mainly to the types of people and parts of the country who are already doing well’ www.tuc.org.uk/economic-issues/voters-say-recovery-will-pass-them-2014