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‘Swindon wages down £50 a week on 2007,’ says TUC
NEW figures show that real wages in Swindon have fallen by almost £50 a week since 2007.
The fall in Swindon is significantly higher than the national average, which is £30.
The figures were released as part of a campaign by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to highlight the struggles faced by people trying to beat rising prices.
Real wages show the value of a wage packet when compared with prices.
Changes in wages have failed to keep up with the rising costs of paying bills and buying basic goods.
The decrease of £48.17 over a 40-hour week represents a decline of 9.3 per cent, with hourly wages dropping from £13 to £11.80.
However, critics have challenged the accuracy of the figures and say they are not a true reflection of the local economy.
The TUC also says there is a huge discrepancy between the amounts men and women’s real wages have fallen.
Since 2007 the real wages for men has fallen by £67.81, compared with women’s, which have declined by £15.61.
This means that a working family is now more than £80 worse off than they were before the economic collapse of 2008.
Anne Snelgrove, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Swindon South, said: “These figures underline what I have been fearing.
“We are told things are on the up by George Osbourne, but while the situation may be improving in London things are still very difficult outside.
“Swindon used to be a town on the up but poor policies have meant the town is suffering.”
Anne is calling on more action to be taken to help people struggling to pay bills and buy basic amenities.
“Swindon is the main economic power-house in the region so it needs to be improved.
“I am calling on the town’s MPs to ensure more is done to invest in the town to make sure people can get back to the standards of living they once had.
“The Tories have scrapped the regional development agencies, which did such a good job.
“They have been replaced with Local Enterprise Partnership, which do more in rural areas and don’t target the town.”
The TUC released the findings as part of its Britain Needs a Pay Rise campaign.
It collected official figures and compared hourly pay rates in 2007, at 2012 prices, with those in 2012.
Swindon North MP Justin Tomlinson says the figures are not accurate and the Tory party has done a lot to improve the economy in tough economic circumstances.
He said: “The reality is the average wage in Swindon has risen from £11.07 to £11.80 per hour.
“As we recover from Labour’s broken economy we have seen 1.3 million new jobs, frozen council tax and 2.7 million of the lowest earners no longer pay any income tax.
“We have invested to help the economy grow and cut fuel duty.
“As the economy recovers we will further and rightfully target the cost of living.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Across the UK families are still really struggling to make their money go far enough and are often having to go into debt as they experience a huge squeeze on their household incomes.
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