Low pay: the defining challenge of our age?

New figures from the ONS show that a quarter of workers earned less than £12,800 a year in 2012.

James Plunkett of the Resolution Foundation has written an interesting piece on the subject for the Huffington Post, in which he argues that low pay is “fast becoming one of the defining economic challenges of our age”:

“The findings reinforce last week’s jobs market numbers which yet again told a story of fast employment growth and a tightening wage squeeze. Far from being a blip, this ‘jobs boom, pay slump‘ economy seems to be here to stay. IFS analysis of the so-called ‘productivity puzzle’ suggests a collapse in wages, rather than a squeeze in working hours, lies behind the mismatch of weak growth and strong job numbers. Meanwhile, Resolution Foundation research shows that something fundamental changed in our jobs market as far back as the early 2000s: unemployment has always had a chilling effect on pay but now the effect has grown. Britain’s workforce has to struggle harder than it used to for a pay rise.”

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  • Thomas Coles

    Ummmm. The wealth of the few is dependent on the poverty of the majority.

    Left Look Forward needs to read some Marx.

  • LB

    It’s low take home pay.

    Cause of that is taxation.

    The real problem is debts. You’ve run up 7,000 bn of debts, and you can’t pay.

  • LB

    It’s state.

    The same ONS puts the off balance sheet debts of the government, for pensions alone at 5,300 bn.

  • Newsbot9

    If you can name the figure, it’s on the books. Keep trying to commit fraud by stealing the cash, as ever.

  • Newsbot9

    Ah yes, taxation. You scream and scream over the 0.1% of tax you are forced to pay.

    The 99% Let’s see – housing, utilities, food, transport…but details, you need a tax cut!

  • LB


    “State retirement pensions are outside the scope of the IAS 19 ‘Employee Benefits pension liability’,

    as they are paid to the general public, and are not employee benefits for public sector staff

    There you go, off the books.

    2005 the ON estimate they should have booked.£1.347 bn

    2010, 5 years later, that figure has risen to £5,010 bn

    Ho hum. No wonder you want to try and blame someone else.

  • Newsbot9

    Outside a single measure isn’t off the books. If you can name the figure, it’s on the books.

    You’re desperately trying to justify your attempted fraud, as ever.

  • LB

    So why do the MPs, such as Milliband keep saying the debt is 1,100 bn, when the ONS put the pension figure at 5,300 bn in today’s terms?

    Because its off the books. It’s a fraud.

    The whole plan of government is not to pay.

  • Newsbot9

    You’re confusing your fraud and reality again. Liabilities are not a debt.

    The UK’s pension liability is quite average.