Thousands have gathered in London today to protest the declining pay of workers across the UK. The TUC have called for a ‘new deal’ for workers, a deal that is desperately needed.
The economic policy of austerity has decimated wage growth and voters should be joining the TUC in the end to policies that have eliminated consumers in our economy strangling growth whilst increasing the labour force by utilising exploitation and zero hour contracts.
The TUC, who are being joined by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other activists, seek an end to zero hour contracts, public sector pay cap and want an increase in minimum wage.
However, the effects of austerity are not only felt by those on zero hour contract working at minimum wage or in the public sector. The economic policy as a whole has created an environment that kills wage growth across both public and private sector.
The economic performance this country has endured only looks worse when we compare ourselves to our European neighbours. The UK ranks 103rd out of 112 in the world for wage growth between 2008-2017, the only European nation below us is Greece.
In addition to this, unlike our neighbours, our wages are still falling. The increased inflation, caused by the devaluation of the pound due to Brexit, and the slow economic growth this year, which was 0.1% in the first quarter, have caused wages to continue to decline. Our wage growth forecast for 2018 is -0.5%, worse than any other European nation.
The reason for the bleak conditions for workers? Austerity, not the financial crash.
The drop in wages can be clearly seen as a result of austerity, not the global financial crash. The cause of this wage decline is austerity and the cuts. By cutting spending, they cut jobs, directly or indirectly, which cut out consumers which cut out jobs and the cycle continued. The economy’s response was to lower wages so profits could be continued to be made. Near fanatical deficit reduction only made this worse as money was being drained from the economy.
It is a miracle they have got away with it for so long but by pinning our problems on Labour’s non-existent overspending the Conservative government have distracted the general public from the real problem austerity.