Government’s wage claims display complacency over livi...

Government’s wage claims display complacency over living standards crisis

24 January 2014

Britain’s largest union Unite accused the Tory-led government of complacency and twisting the figures over today’s (Friday 24 January) claims that people’s wages have risen in real terms.

Branding the Tories as ‘out of touch’ the union pointed to its own research showing that this week is Wonga week, the final week of the month where people borrow an average of £660 to pay the bills to get them through to end of the month. 

With a massive 19 per cent hike in the cost of childcare and rising food and housing costs, the research also shows that two thirds of people have seen their disposable income shrink by £129 a month. The rise in wages is currently just 0.9 per cent – way behind the current rate of inflation. 

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said: "What planet are the Tories on? The mountain air of Davos must have gone to Cameron and Osborne’s heads.  Far from preaching at people that they are better off, they ought to be doing more to help ordinary people to make ends meet.

“Twisting the statistics doesn't make life any easier for the 10 million or so in this country on the breadline, the millions of public sector workers battered by a year on year pay cut, or those working poor who are desperate for more hours so they can earn a decent wage.

“The cost of living pressure on people is immense, yet the City, whose recklessness caused the crash, sits atop a multi-billion pound cash pile and next week the banking elite will be feted with mega bonuses.

“This government's complacency on the real hurt to incomes is insulting ordinary people. Ministers are in denial about the crisis in living standards and that for many the recovery is passing them by.

“So let's hear no more lectures from Cameron. Let's have some real action to help people, like a £1.50 an hour hike in the minimum wage now.”


For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.