Unions blast Bank of England economist who said Britons ‘need to accept’ they’re poor

“He’s living on another planet”

Comments made by the Bank of England’s Chief Economist Huw Pill have sparked a large backlash as he remarked that British households, “need to accept they’re poorer” and stop pushing for pay rises.

Unions have come out to chastise the economist for his comments, where he argued that workers asking for wage rises and businesses attempting to pass on higher costs are fuelling high inflation rates.

It comes at a time when food price inflation is at 17.3% whilst working people are enduring the longest wage squeeze in 200 years, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

He is ‘living on another planet’, said UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea who referenced Pill’s ‘comfortable salary’, estimated at £190,000, and being seriously out of touch from the experiences of the average working person in this country.

“On his comfortable salary, he clearly has no idea of the impact soaring prices are having on working people and their families,” McAnea said.

“Millions are barely getting by, unable to pay their bills or cover the astronomical rises in grocery prices.

“Holding back wages won’t help. If workers don’t have the cash to spend, the economy won’t grow.”

She added that low pay was causing staff to leave the UK’s public services by the thousands for better wages elsewhere, and that, without decent pay rises, the UK will ‘never get back on its feet’.

Pill claimed the UK was facing a “reluctance to accept that we’re all worse off and we all have to take our share”, calling it a game of “pass the parcel” with the UK economy.

Unite the union have continued to call out the argument that wage rises contribute to keeping inflation high – with inflation still in double-figures at 10.1%.

The union has pointed to record high profiteering by the UK’s largest companies, now earning 89% more than before the pandemic, with corporations choosing to raise their prices and this ‘price spiralling’ driving inflation, which we’re all having to pay for.

The union previously stated: “This crisis is about choices. Thousands of decision makers in major corporations have been choosing to raise their prices. Governments are choosing to facilitate it.

“It’s not hard pressed workers who are driving inflation, it’s Britain’s bosses.”

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak told the Bank of England Chief, working people don’t need his lectures.

“They don’t need lectures – they need a pay rise,” said Nowak.

“Oil and gas giants are registering eye-watering profits, CEO pay is skyrocketing and bankers bonuses are at record levels.

“It’s time for a plan to make sure workers get their fair share – they shouldn’t be expected to take yet another hit to their living standards.”

Hannah Davenport is trade union reporter at Left Foot Forward

(Photo credit: Sky News / Screenshot)

Left Foot Forward’s trade union reporting is supported by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust

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