Britons earning less than in 2001: Report


Fresh figures show that Britons are earning less in real terms than they were in 2001, with the youth being hit the hardest by the slump in wages that followed the 2008 financial crisis.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) released a report on Friday, saying British wages in the third quarter of 2014 were one percent less than in the same period 13 years earlier, after taking into account inflation.

The data also indicate that British people’s earnings declined by 5 percent between 2008, when Europe plunged into a financial crisis, and the third quarter of 2014.

Furthermore, the study shows that between 2008 and 2014, earnings among the country’s young people experienced the biggest fall, down by 9 percent for those aged between 22 and 29.

The IFS further raised concerns over falling incomes, saying a slow wage growth could be a problem for the government as it receives less funds from income tax than expected.

Rachel Reeves, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary said the newly released figures show Prime Minister David Cameron “has overseen falling wages and rising insecurity in the labor market,” adding, “working people are £1,600 worse off a year” under Cameron’s leadership.
In response, a spokesperson for the Treasury said it agreed with the IFS data, adding, “We understand that the impact of the great recession is still being felt,… which is why we must go on working through the plan that is securing a better future across the country.”

The current UK coalition government launched austerity measures when it came to power in 2010 in a bid to tackle the country’s mounting debt and sluggish growth, but the policies have sparked opposition and public protests in recent years. The cuts have severely hit the poorest households in the country, forcing many of them to choose between paying for food or energy.

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