It will take a DECADE for wages to recover in real terms (#UK #Politics #austerity #welfare)

wagesrecoveryDespite official figures from the Office for National Statistics indicating that wages are rising faster than inflation, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has warned that it will take at least until 2024 for wages to recover their value.

Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, said: “What is clear is that it will take a decade for wages to catch up in real terms to where they were before the crash. There are a lot of people who are now dipping into their savings – or, worse, getting into debt, to try to maintain a standard of living.”

TUC research says the real value of the average full-time employee wage fell by £487 in 2014 and has fallen by £2,509 since 2010 – a decline of about £50 a week.

“And current policies offer little relief. The Office for Budgetary Responsibility forecast, released with the Autumn Statement, shows growth weakening before the vast majority of workers have seen any benefit from the recovery” O’Grady continues in her New Year message.

According to the government’s independent forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility, George Osborne’s economic plans mean “a very sharp spending squeeze”, with 60% of the cuts to fall in the next parliament.

The TUC has been in the vanguard of anti-austerity protests, most recently leading NHS workers in a pay strike. At stake are the living standards of the NHS’s 1.3 million workers, after the government disregarded the advice of the NHS pay review body, which recommended a 1% pay rise for all staff in 2014-15.

She said today’s Tories were “at least as right-wing and in some cases more so” than in Thatcher’s era. Osborne’s hopes to cut government spending to levels last seen in the 1930s – described by leading tax experts as “a fundamental reimagining of the state” – could run into deep public opposition, O’Grady said. “This is really punishing the poor.”

“Clearly there are elements in the current Conservative party leadership that are determined to push through such a radical programme.

“Whether others have the stomach for it or whether it would be acceptable by this country I don’t know. It is a nightmare scenario.

“I suspect that if they did try to push through cuts at the level that they plan then we would see a good deal more resistance.”

“Our basic problem is that we have rebalanced the economy in the wrong direction. We have become very good at creating low-paid and precarious jobs, but have failed to invest in good, well-paid jobs that make the most of people’s skills and abilities.

“This is why the Chancellor has failed to reduce the deficit. He has been an enthusiastic cutter, but seemed to forget that a low-wage economy undermines the tax take.

“In 2015 we need a fresh start. Employers are beginning to recognise that a low wage economy is holding back growth. It is time to turn their words into action because businesses need customers with money in their pockets. Government, employers and unions must work together to promote wage led growth.”

Time and again the government has been warned that austerity does not create a sustainable economy. In fact it degrades the economy the longer ‘austerity measures’ are in place.

Yes – spending has to be controlled – but there is a big difference between control and making blinding cuts across all public sectors and failing to account for the knock-on effect on services vital for a modern society.

The cuts government have made and the ‘austerity measures’ they have introduced are preventing the economy from recovering.

They have created a vicious economic circle where the population have less disposable income which would otherwise go back into the economy, which in turn means businesses (mostly small and medium size) have less income and have to look at making cuts in their expenses, which inevitably means job losses, this also means the public purse receives less money through taxation.

To compensate, the government attempt to juggle and fiddle about with the tax system which has little impact on the economy.

Instead of cutting wasteful spending the government have gone for ‘soft targets’.

It is far easier for them to cut public service budgets than it is to look inward at how they spend public money. The Taxpayer’s Alliance estimates that government waste accounts for between £82 and £128 BILLION of the total government spend EACH YEAR.

It is common sense that if any person or organisation is in financial difficulty the first priority must be to look where waste is occurring and address it without impacting on basic functioning.

It is also common sense that spending is maintained on essential items which enable the person or organisation to function. In the government’s case the priority should be to ensure public services which form the foundation of our ‘modern’ society are maintained.

But the government seem to be doing the opposite. They make slashes to public service budgets yet spend BILLIONS on non-essential items. Parliament leaches tens of millions of pounds from the public purse in non-essential spending each year, such as ‘champagne’ budgets, spending £400,000 on renting fig trees to go outside MPs offices, and so on.

In their attempt to reduce the housing benefit spend, the government has succeeded in indirectly increasing it through incompetence and the knock on effects of people having to seek accommodation in the more expensive private sector. It has also succeeded in increasing the operating costs of councils and housing associations as they attempt to recover rent arrears which would not have otherwise occurred. This in turn has the knock-on effect of councils and housing associations having considerably less money to spend on new housing stock – with the next knock-on effect being people have to rent in the more expensive private sector pushing the housing benefit budget even higher.

There are many, many examples of why ‘austerity measures’ fail. Yet despite continual warnings from experts in the field the government takes no notice and is intent on destroying the foundation of our society and plunging the population into a false economic slavery.

Even if the current government is not re-elected, the government in power after the next general election is going to have a tough time trying to repair the damage already done.

It will take brave and bold moves to bring the economy back on track so that it continues to be healthy in the long term.

If the current policy of ‘austerity’ continues more damage will be done across all sectors of society. But perhaps that is the objective. By destroying the social foundations of modern Britain the government create opportunities for private companies to move in and take over.

These companies employ staff on less favourable conditions, ensuring their economic slavery, while at the same time making big profits for shareholders at the expense of the tax payer.

The circle of slavery them becomes a self-perpetuating machine.

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