Region hit by region’s fastest fall in ‘real’ wages

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Wages have fallen faster in Yorkshire in real terms than in any other part of the country since 2010, stark new figures reveal as the debate over the rising cost of living continues.

Statistics published this morning by the Labour Party show the average wage has effectively fallen by 8.1 per cent in Yorkshire since the last election, once inflation is taken into account.

The figure means households in the region are effectively £1,721 a year worse off than they were in 2010. Yorkshire’s 8.1 per cent drop compares with 7.5 per cent in London; 7.2 per cent in the West Midlands and 5.5 per cent in the South-East.

Labour will seize on the figures today in an Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons, claiming the Government is falling to get to grips with Britain’s “cost of living crisis”.

Chris Leslie, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “On every economic test David Cameron and George Osborne set themselves three years ago, they have failed.

“Far from delivering rising living standards, working people are now over £1,600 a year worse off under this Government.

“Instead of securing the recovery in 2010, we’ve had three damaging years of flat-lining. And we’ll need 1.5 per cent growth every quarter between now and the election simply to catch up all the lost ground since 2010.”

Labour has had considerable success over recent months in shifting the political debate away from the wider economy – which is now widely agreed to be recovering – and onto the lack of impact the recovery appears to be having on living standards.

The party believes it can secure a majority at the next election if voters accept they are worse off in 2015 than they were in 2010.

“The last three years of flat-
lining and failure mean George Osborne’s plan is still totally off track compared to what he promised in 2010,” Mr Leslie added, calling on the Chancellor to use his Autumn Statement next week to ease the strain on household finances.

But Housing Minister Kris Hopkins, MP for Keighley, said the Government was rebuilding a sustainable economy following Labour’s failures when it was in power, adding: “Since the Conservative-led Government came to power, 92,000 people in Yorkshire and the Humber have been taken out of income tax altogether while 1.89 million people have had an income tax cut. That’s real action to help hard-working people.”