Redbridge suffers worst real wage decrease in London in 10 years
PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 December 2018
Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images
Redbridge has suffered the worst decrease in real wages in the capital since 2008.
Analysis from the Trade Union Congress (TUC) released on Friday (December 14) shows that workers in Redbridge are now earning on average 34pc less than they did a decade ago.
Where the average weekly real wage stood at £535 in 2008 it now stands at £354, a fall of £181 a week and the lowest weekly wage in the capital.
Barnet is the second worst with a 23pc decrease followed by Newham at 20pc.
Only two London boroughs have seen an increase in wages – Merton and Southwark.
“I think the finger is pointed to the national government,” said Council leader Jas Athwal.
“A lot of the economy in Redbridge is being employed by public services – the King George Hospital, our fire brigades and the police.
“Everybody is struggling because the national government controls their wages.”
Asked what the council is doing to address this, he spoke of the council’s accreditation as a London Living Wage Employer last month.
“We can make sure that all our contractors now pay London Living Wage,” he said.
He also highlighted that the council is also looking to contract firms based in the borough for projects, such as the construction of Mayfield Pool by a South Woodford firm.
But Conservative group leader Cllr Linda Huggett defended the government’s record.
She said: “The number of people in work has reached a record high of 32.48m. 428,00 more people are in full-time jobs compared than a year ago.”
“The government’s approach to the economy has helped create more jobs for people across the UK.
“Wages are up 3.3pc on the year and are now rising at their fastest pace since 2008.
“Wages are outpacing inflation for the ninth month in a row.
“The only risk to the UK economy is the prospect of a Corbyn Labour government.
“This will bring record levels of high borrowing, high inflation and higher taxes which will mean a national rise in the cost of living.”
The TUC calculated the figures by comparing the difference between median average weekly wage earning as recorded in he annual survey of hours and earnings between 2008 and 2018.
TUC Regional Secretary Sam Gurney said: “The government has failed to tackle Britain’s cost of living crisis.
“As a result many families across London will be worse off this Christmas than a decade ago.
“While pay packets have recovered in most leading economies, wage growth in the UK is stuck in the slow lane.
“Ministers need to wake up and get wages rising faster.
“This means giving all public sector workers the pay rise they have earned and giving unions the right to bargain in more workplaces.
“And it means boosting the minimum wage to £10 an hour as soon as possible.”