Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1075/30338

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 February 2020

Average wages recover to pre-crisis levels - but we're still over a decade behind

Average UK weekly earnings, adjusted for inflation, data from ONS

Average UK weekly earnings, adjusted for inflation, data from ONS   (Click to enlarge)

Joe Fathallah, Cardiff East Socialist Party

Average wage levels in the UK have, for the first time, recovered to the level they were at before the financial crisis. In the last quarter of 2019, the Office for National Statistics says weekly pay averaged 512 - the highest level since March 2008 with inflation taken into account.

For the Tories in their Westminster bubble, this is a statistic to shout about. (Under)employment minister Mims Davies hailed "a record-breaking jobs market and business confidence on the rise." For ordinary working-class and many middle-class people, however, the reality is very different.

Today's average wages would have been 650 a week had the pre-crisis trend continued, according to the Resolution Foundation think tank. So really we're still behind. And any average figures are artificially skewed upwards by a small number of people receiving obscenely high salaries.

The minimum wage is currently set at 8.21 an hour for workers aged over 25, due to rise to 8.72 in April. A 2019 report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that a single person needs an annual wage of 18,800 (plus public services and benefits) for a minimal living standard.

However, the same person working full-time on the 8.72 rate would make just 15,870 before deductions. And that's not even taking the reduced rates for workers aged under 25 into account.

While the bosses try to make the working class pay for the crises of capitalism, the rich continue to line their pockets. Just since 2014, shareholders of the largest 100 companies in the UK have received a 56% increase in dividends, according to the Trade Union Congress.

If the minimum wage had increased at the same rate over that period, it would now be 10.14 an hour. Even this would not be enough.

Big business will always put its own profits ahead of our living standards, but workers are fighting back! McDonald's workers in London have struck for a wage of 15 an hour. Workers at Uber, Deliveroo and TGI Friday have also organised action.

University workers in the University and College Union are currently striking over a number of issues including low pay and insecure contracts. Posties in the Communication Workers Union could soon join them.

The Socialist Party fights for:

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 26 February 2020:


News

Austerity kills

Average wages recover to pre-crisis levels - but we're still over a decade behind

Bezos gives $10bn for climate - nationalise the rest!

Weinstein found guilty


What we think

Immigration: For a system that meets the needs of the majority, not a rich elite


Universities strike

Solidarity with striking university staff

University workers' strike over pay, pensions and workload escalates


Council cuts

Coventry: A socialist councillor who will vote against cuts

Number of women killed by current or ex-partner rises

Leicester: We can't take any more cuts, any more misery, and we are fighting back

Students and workers out together on Budget Day, 11 March

Stop the council cuts

Council cuts could cost Labour another general election


Workplace news

Packed meeting of workplace militants, strikers, socialists and trade union leaders

All out to win Royal Mail strike reballot

PCS union relaunches pay campaign

Workers call on Interserve bosses to recognise union

Anti-academy strikes growing


International news

Germany: Right-wing terror attacks - fight racism, fight capitalism!

Northern Ireland's strike wave


The BBC

This is the BBC: fight the cuts - and the capitalist media


Campaigns

Congress 2020 appeal: Donate to help us renew vital resources

Housing cuts cost lives

Socialist sellers


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 26 February 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Wages:

triangleFurlough cut-off could force millions back to unsafe workplaces

triangleFurlough scheme extended - workers need 100% of wages

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Black Lives Matter - smash racism

triangleEssential workers deserve more

Workers:

triangleFight for the NHS

triangleIran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes

triangle100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Great Britain

triangleSaving the music industry from pandemic and austerity

Union:

triangleHugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

triangleHugely significant council workers' strike continues

triangleUnited Left general secretary hustings shows widest debate needed for left in Unite

Minimum wage:

triangleWorkers need a 'new deal' - at least 12 an hour now!

triangleUniversal Basic Income: not a solution to insecurity and poverty under capitalism

Pay:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Fight to end low pay in the NHS and Care

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

22/7/20

China

Huawei: what's behind Johnson's u-turn?

22/7/20

Coronavirus

Fight for our livelihoods... Fight for our lives!

22/7/20

Music

Saving the music industry from pandemic and austerity

22/7/20

Luton

Luton Council sunk by airport investment: fight for funding, not speculation!

22/7/20

The Socialist

Getting the Socialist over the summer

22/7/20

Coronavirus

Fight for the NHS

22/7/20

NHS

Tories using pandemic to privatise NHS more

22/7/20

Them & Us

Them & Us

22/7/20

Steel

Nationalise Tata Steel to save jobs

22/7/20

Housing

Housing crisis: what now and after the pandemic?

15/7/20

Coronavirus

A socialist programme for schools

15/7/20

Young Socialists

Jobs, homes, services and a future for all!

15/7/20

Monarchy

Palace letters show the monarchy is a weapon for capitalism

15/7/20

Jobs

Workers and young people need planning for jobs, not handouts for bosses

15/7/20

Women

Sexist dismissal of women's health: NHS needs democratic control

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999