2010 – 2014: the worst five-year period for living standards since records began

2010 to 2014 was the only five-year period where real disposable household income per head fell



2010 to 2014 was the worst five-year period for living standards since records began half a century ago, according to new analysis from the TUC.

The analysis, published today, compared five-year averages of UK disposable household income per head with the averages for the preceding five years.

It found that 2010 to 2014 was the only five-year period since records began in 1960 during which real disposable household income per head fell rather than grew compared to the preceding five years (2005-09).

Surprisingly, even during the height of the financial crisis from 2008 to 2012 there was a rise of 1.5 per cent on the preceding five-years (2003-07).

The TUC said the figures were further evidence that the coalition’s austerity programme was more to blame for the loss of living standards than the financial crisis that preceded it.

“Living standards have suffered the worst slump in at least half a century, leaving workers paying a heavy price for the government’s bad choices over the last five years,” said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady.

“Conservative plans for extreme austerity after the election risk killing off the recovery again,” she added. “It would be Groundhog Day for living standards, making families worse-off and cutting public services down to a stump.”

James Bloodworth is the editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

43 Responses to “2010 – 2014: the worst five-year period for living standards since records began”

  1. Selohesra

    2010-14 has been tough but of course nothing to do with Labour’s recession that immediately preceded it

  2. Gerschwin

    Well if the TUC says it! Nothing biased or partial about their opinion – that’s a fully independent, impartial, honest, unskewed bit of research that is from the TUC – Like I asked yesterday, do the sloppy, lazy goons on this website just have the TUC write their copy for them? I think so.
    (PS – is this like 0% growth, oh no…that’s a Labour PIErty thing).

  3. wj

    What? Not even under the evil Thatcher?

  4. littleoddsandpieces

    We had a boom. Then Austerity. Then a Bust and food kitchens. And this 1920s failure had no effect on stopping the 1929 Crash caused by finance and nothing to do with politicians tinkering with public spending.

    The state pension is payable if remain in work or lose job to the massive austerity job cuts.

    Pensioners did not cause the recession, nor are they a burden on the young.

    The flat rate state pension effectively abolishes the states pension from next year, on and from 6 April 2016, to the lowest waged, who never had any chance of other pension provision, so leaving us in penniless starvation forever in old age.

    See why, at end of my petition, in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section, at:


  5. James Chilton

    You make an assumption – that statements about living standards made by the TUC are “biased”. Then you rely on the logical fallacy that because the TUC is a “biased” source, what it has to say (about this matter) must necessarily be untrue.

  6. TN

    If the TUC had their way the economy would be going through another Winter of Discontent with their fantasy economics. That bucktooth donkey O’Grady and her ilk have views on the economy that would cripple businesses, punish aspiration and actually destroy jobs rather than protect them. Always banging on about living standards, when they don’t even speak for working people across different sectors.

    Why am I not surprised LFF would jump on this story? Maybe the markets are actually spooked by the hideous prospect of a Labour/SNP coalition in a few weeks. Labour will cause stagnation, and the SNP want to turn Scotland Venezuela while holding England to ransom. Job losses and benefit scrounger galore.

  7. TN

    The TUC claims that they’re not partisan, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

    This story is just like the AAA rating loss a couple of years ago. Labour and the centre left pounced on it like hawks, despite the overall growth that followed in 2014.

  8. TN

    True. Of course Left Foot Forward, like the TUC, could never dream of bashing precious Labour and it’s oh so progressive centre left ways which will deliver prizes to all….Maybe in Fantasy Land where there’s rivers of chocolate, gold growing from the soil and of course that scared magic money tree.

  9. TN

    True. Of course Left Foot Forward, like the TUC, could never dream of bashing precious Labour and it’s oh so progressive centre left ways which will deliver prizes to all….Maybe in Fantasy Land where there’s rivers of chocolate, gold growing from the soil and of course that scared magic money tree.

  10. Gerschwin

    Absolutely, if the TUC says the earth is flat and I say that’s biased then by relying on logical fallacy that the TUC is a biased source then by definition it must necessarily be true that the world is indeed flat…except er….it’s not …welcome to the warped logic of the left.

  11. James Chilton

    What you must demonstrate, in the case we’re talking about, is that the TUC has invented, abused, or misinterpreted statistical evidence which shows that standards of living have fallen in the period 2010-2014.

    Take the TUC analysis apart and you will have made your point. Bluster about a flat earth etc., won’t wash.

  12. Gerschwin

    Sorry James old chap, well aware like most lefties you’ll have a somewhat pompous and inflated sense of your own sanctimonious self importance – and by God you do. But how or what I demonstrate is entirely up to me thanks James me old mucker. And I’m certainly not demonstrating, as it were, to you. For two reasons mainly – first your opinion is of no consequence to me and second, and most importantly, your opinion is of no consequence. Think it’s fair to say the TUC has a very specific political agenda and a website representing itself as being impartial can do a lot better than spinning, almost verbatim, the propaganda that comes out of the TUC and frankly if you’re as frightfully clever as you think you are – so should you. Sorry about that.

  13. James Chilton

    In other words, and this is a surprise, you can’t back up the assertions you’ve made.

    Like belligerent “right wingers’ in general, you’re so anxious to discredit what a “lefty” might say, that you will depart on any tangent that seems a promising source of ignorance.

  14. Gerschwin

    Whatever James, whatever, you lost this soon as you tried to get clever and confused yourself. Way it rolls.

  15. Kathryn

    I mean, yeah I love Labour, but could never kid myself that they had the influence to create a global crash.


    Grow up.

  16. Faerieson

    What a load of old tosh!

    Like yourself, I think there might be grounds to question the (entire) validity of the TUC’s analysis, but it would be horrendously stupid not to acknowledge the heavy rightward-leaning bias of the majority of other sources. So, thank heaven that the TUC is still able to offer an alternative slant.

    As Lenin once stated, “If you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth.”

  17. Gerschwin

    He didn’t say they created a global crisis, it is you trying to excuse them by referencing a global crisis. You need to grow up little girl and stop trying to be clever, we are all far more clever than you.

  18. Ben Ellis

    If by “clever” you mean “misogynist”, you’re extremely clever.

  19. Cole

    Ever heard of the global recession after 2008? Enough boring Tory lies.

  20. Cole

    Actually she was telling the truth. We don’t want patronising comments from right wing jerks and liars.

  21. Cole

    How about some facts instead of abs using the TUC?

  22. Cole

    I seem to remember the economy was growing in 2010 before Osborne screwed it up with his non existent long term plan.

  23. Gerschwin


  24. Gerschwin

    In your opinion she was telling the truth – learn to distinguish Cole, it seems to be a recurring theme with you. Fact and opinion are not the same thing, you should know that by now.

  25. Cole

    How about you deal with the issue – which is that living standards have declined under the Tories – instead of snide comments about the TUC and sexist remarks about Kathryn? The truth hurts, eh?

  26. Gerschwin

    I made no sexist remark about Kathryn whatsoever, I merely questioned her intelligence, something I have every right to do; having a vagina does not preclude her from scrutiny, it’s called equality Cole no matter what you have between your legs – you think she needs a big strong man like you to stand up for her? Seems to me you are the sexist.
    And the issue is not an issue, it’s an opinion of the TUC’s which I suggest is a false opinion based on biased and prejudicial research – you deal with that.

  27. Selohesra

    Ah so you did realise the economy was trashed when the coalition took over from Labour’s mess

  28. TN

    Lol 🙂

  29. Cole

    Calling her a ‘little girl’ is patronising and sexist. Go back to the 1950s.

  30. Cole

    What rubbish. The crisis was caused by the 2008 recession and Osborne’s idiotic right wing policies delayed the recovery. The U.S, under a progressive President, recovered much quicker.

  31. Gerschwin

    Pathetic. You still fronting for her right? Big brave Cole.

  32. Gerschwin

    Once again – in your opinion Cole. It’s not fact. It’s opinion. You are a moron – fact.

  33. Gerschwin

    You’re an idiot Cole. Obama’s contribution to ending recession was zero. You’ve only to look over the channel to see what happens when inadequate cretins from the left get their hands on the economy. If you want money Cole earn it don’t try to justify stealing it on Obama’s back – he’d have no time for the likes of you.

  34. Gerschwin

    Yeah… by 0%! Magic!

  35. Leon Wolfeson

    Keep making it up – things have been worse for business than that, under your Coalition, as you throw personal insults, and support crippling business, punishing aspiration and destroying jobs.

    How *dare* the living standards of the poor be mentioned, as you ignore what’s spooking the markets – the anti-EU brigade. Stagnation is considerably better than what we have, as you whine about too few job losses, and that the poor are still alive, and not dying of starvation on the streets.

    (Not that labour will deliver stagnation, since they’re dedicated to austerity and making things worse)

  36. Leon Wolfeson

    You prove her correct, and all your personalities are all “far more clever”, right.

  37. Leon Wolfeson

    Of course your sexism is not sexism, as you claim magical rights, and then engage in more blatant sexism.

    Of course you see research as being inherently biased and prejudicial when it does not support your views.

  38. Leon Wolfeson

    You prove his point.

  39. Leon Wolfeson

    Trashed? Oh, you mean the recovery which was stopped on an emergency basis, and we were plunged into an artificial depression.

    Yes, the coalition trashed things quite nicely.

  40. Leon Wolfeson

    Just one who was not *that* far to the right.
    The economics followed here were those of the Tea Party in America.

  41. Leon Wolfeson

    So you are in complete denial of the economic figures. Sad.

    Or perhaps talking about your home country, not the UK.

  42. Leon Wolfeson

    The story that it’s taken until now to show growth – which is due to a bubble in the city and high housing prices, not to mention oil prices which are unlikely to stay *this* low….

    All from a depression which was created by the Coalition.

  43. Paul Lobel

    It was supposed to, wasn’t it, else what is the point of ‘austerity’? We were, and are, living beyond our means with the help of payday loans for low credit score as a nation, somewhere belts have to be tightened and so far (might I suggest politicians, bankers,tax dodgers, all other over-paid, under-worked criminals), it just hasn’t been tightened enough!

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