Fewer workers than initially projected are noting an improvement in their circumstances, despite months of reports stating that the United Kingdom’s economy is on the mend. According to a study recently completed by the TUC (Trades Union Congress), just one in every fifty members of the country’s work force would claim they are better off now, than they have been over the course of the past few years.
The findings have led the union organisation to repeat its warning to the government; that any form of recovery is untenable unless workers note a decent pay rise and see an undeniable increase in their standard of living. TUC assistant general secretary Paul Nowak told a recent conference on the issue held in the capital: “We must ensure we have a recovery for all, that doesn’t leave working people struggling to make ends meet as energy and transport costs continue to spiral.”
A Patchy Recovery
As the issue remains closely covered in the nations press, the number of people beginning to doubt the extent of recovery is steadily growing. Whilst growth in London has been unprecedented in comparison to the rest of the country; the government have been repeatedly criticised on account of their repeated failure to accurately include the country's struggling cities in their forecasts for a full-scale recovery.
Cracks are certainly becoming more and more evident- with those in top positions appearing just as reluctant to sacrifice their perks, for the good of lower level workers, as they have ever been. Mr Nowak continuing: “What the patchy recovery has done is shine a light on the uneven distribution of reward in the UK. In the first three days of the year chief executives of top companies earn what their workers can expect to receive during the whole of 2014. Directors pay has trebled over the past decade while real wages have stagnated for ordinary workers. You only have to look at the current bonus round in the banking industry for evidence of that, where telephone number bonuses remain the norm.”
A Fairer Deal
Mr Nowak’s words, and indeed the views of the Trades Union Congress as an entity, epitomise the outlooks of a vast number of UK workers. This is far from being the first call for a serious look to be taken at the nations low pay epidemic, and it’s extremely unlikely to be the last. More than a question of specific figures and rates, it would appear that the issue is widely being regarded as one of equality and fairness.
“We need a recovery that lifts the living standards of all workers, regardless of where they live or which sector they work in. With the economy recovering and the deficit coming down, it’s high time Britain’s teachers, nurses, firefighters, council workers and prison officers got a fair deal.”
With most of the country’s workers still underpinned by a 1% wage cap for the coming year, it seems that things will have to change both drastically and immediately for fairness of any practical degree to be attained in 2014. What are your views on the matter?