Renewed call to lift public sector pay cap as UK wages fall again

Posted On: 
12th July 2017

Workers have taken another hit as new figures today revealed that earnings failed to keep pace with inflation in the second quarter of the year.

TUC boss Frances O'Grady said: “Three months of falling pay is three months too many."
Credit: 
PA Images

Weekly earnings across the UK fell by 0.5% in real terms compared with where they were a year ago, according to the Office for National Statistics.

But in better news unemployment fell by 152,000 in the past 12 months and by 64,000 compared with the three months between March and May.

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When bonuses are taken into account pay fell by 0.7% compared with a year ago - while inflation was at 2.9% in June.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Three months of falling pay is three months too many. The clock is ticking whilst workers wait for the government to act.

“Ministers must set out a plan to get real wages rising across the public and the private sectors.

“They should start by scrapping the unfair pay restrictions on nurses, midwives and other public sector workers. And the minimum wage must be raised to £10 as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile there were 32 million people in work, the ONS said - 175,000 more than for the previous three months and 324,000 more compared with a year ago.

“The general picture is little changed on last month, with the overall employment rate and that for women both at record highs, the inactivity rate at a joint record low and the unemployment rate falling to its lowest since early summer 1975," said ONS statistician Matt Hughes.

“Despite the strong jobs picture, however, there has been another real-terms fall in total earnings, with the growth in weekly wages low and inflation still rising.”

A major report into working practices released yesterday said the Government should do more to ensure low-paid workers do not get stuck on the minimum wage.

The review, led by RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor, said the rise in employment was positive, but there was now a challenge to make sure British workers have access to "good work", with a real prospect of career progression.