Slump in Somerset living standards is above the national average
The South West has suffered one of the most dramatic drops in living standards in the country, a report claims today.
Living standards here have slumped by eight per cent since 2007. The fall for the UK as a whole is 5.9 per cent and for England is 6.2 per cent.
The figures were drawn from official earnings data by the GMB union, which claims they show that the Government’s strategy for economic recovery is in tatters.
Full time workers living in Wiltshire have suffered the worst fall in living standards in the South West. The real value of their average gross earnings has sunk by 14.3 per cent between April 2007 and November 2011.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
North Somerset’s full time workers suffered the next worst fall in living standards in the region, with a drop of 13.4 per cent, followed by Devon with a drop of 9.6 per cent.
Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset and Bristol all dropped by 8.9 per cent.
In Somerset the real value of average earnings for full time workers is down by 6.6 per cent, for Dorset the fall is 4.9 per cent.
Living standards in South Gloucestershire are down by three per cent while the drop in Swindon is 1.1 per cent. Torbay is the only one of the 15 areas in the region where the movement in average earnings for full time workers has kept pace with inflation in the same period.
In the analysis, the GMB looked at the figure for annual average gross earnings of full time workers in each area from official data for April 2007 from the Office of National Statistics before the recession kicked in.
This figure was compared with the figure for annual average gross earnings for the same area for April 2011. The changes shown in annual average earnings between these two periods, plus an uprating for wage increases to September 2011, were measured against inflation over the same period to calculate the real change in those earnings.
Richard Ascough, GMB regional secretary for the South West. said: “These figures show that the Government’s strategy for an economic recovery is in tatters as living standards in the region drop by eight per cent. Things have got a lot worse in the past year as the recovery under way at the time of the election stalled and the region is mired in a new recession.
“Two thirds of the economy is consumer driven and George Osborne must be the only person who does not get it. Squeezing wages, pay freezes and cutting jobs will not restart the economy. Using the IMF measures, his cuts will reduce real private consumption by four per cent and gross domestic product by 3.4 per cent over the next few years.”
Mr Ascough added: “I doubt if the electorate had any notion that a change of government would lead to a loss of 376,000 jobs across the UK and 54,000 in the South West, in the public sector.”
John Glen, MP for Salisbury responded: “There is no doubt times are hard for many. However, living standards would be far worse if this Government wasn’t tackling Labour’s debt legacy.
"If we followed Ed Balls’ plans for extra borrowing, families’ would have to deal with increased interest rates on top of current pressures – pushing mortgage interest payments higher.”