Wage stagnation: Workers suffer from £400 hit to monthly pay packets

Rachel Reeves has said that ordinary families are paying the price for 13 years of low growth and high taxes under the Tory government.

Rachel Reeves

New figures by the opposition party show that since 2010, workers across the UK have seen steep falls in monthly salaries, and if growth in real average earnings had been maintained, people would have an additional £100 a week in their pockets.

Writing for the Mirror, Reeves said that because of the Tories’ ‘disastrous kamikaze budget,’ some 600,000 families have re-mortgaged onto higher rates in the past six months alone.

“We reveal new figures that show how, since 2010, workers across the UK are seeing a £400 hit on their pay packet each month,” writes the Shadow Chancellor.

“Of course, the cost of living crisis has snowballed over the last year. Our economy has been weakened, leaving us vulnerable to the energy crisis. The Tory economic crash has left working people paying the bill.

“But the truth is that this is a failure over 13 years of Tory government. The evidence is clear.”

Making reference to Rishi Sunak’s casual ‘non-dom thing’ comment at this week’s PMQs, Reeves continued that “instead of abolishing a £3billion tax loophole that sees the super rich avoid paying what they owe here – or “this non-dom thing” as the Prime Minister so casually calls it – and spending the money on building our NHS workforce, they’ve chosen to carry on putting the burden on working people.”

The Shadow Chancellor’s comments follow analysis published last month by the Resolution Foundation that showed similar findings. It revealed that since 2008, wage stagnation has left British workers £11,000 worse off a year. The Resolution Foundation calculated that had wages continued to grow as they were before the financial crash of 2008, the average worker would make £11,000 more per year than they do now, taking rising prices into account.

Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, says that the wage stagnation of the past decade and a half is “almost completely unprecedented.”

“Nobody who’s alive and working in the British economy today has ever seen anything like this.

“This is definitely not what normal looks like. This is what failure looks like,” he added.

Failing to keep up with European neighbours

British wage stagnation has also meant that the UK is not keeping up with other European countries. For example, the typical household incomes in Britain are now £4,000 lower than those in Germany.

Figures that show the stark reality of Britain’s pay stagnation come as tens of thousands of public sector workers continue to head to picket lines up and down the country, in long-running disputes over pay, jobs and conditions. On April 28, more than 130,000 civil servants took part in industrial action over pay and conditions.

According to Institute for Government figures, compared to 2010, civil servants’ median salaries at each grade have reduced in real terms between 12 percent at the most junior levels and 23 percent at the most senior. This particularly worsened in 2022 due to high rates of inflation.

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

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