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Economic recovery failing working people

cashIn 2010, the Tories promised to make work pay. Today, they are hailing the economic recovery, growth revised up and record numbers of people in employment. The economy is certainly working for those at the top. A top rate income tax cut has coincided with the return of bankers bonuses and above inflation increases in executive pay which means they are now paid 140 times the wages of their average employees. However, the recovery has yet to be reflected in workers’ pay packets, and while more jobs are being created the vast majority are insecure, low paid, and part time.

Research by the TUC has found that just one job in every forty net jobs added to the economy between 2008 and 2014 has been a full-time job and 26 in every 40 have been part time. Over the same period 24 in every 40 net jobs added have been in self-employment, as many people unable to find a job have been forced into false self-employment allowing companies to further exploit workers through avoiding employment rights and entitlements such as holiday pay, sick pay and pensions.

There are now 1.3 million people in part time work wanting a full time job, and the Office of Budget Responsibility have said the number of low-paid jobs are creating a tax shortfall. The Government should be ashamed that their much vaunted promise to “make work pay” has never materialised. Their whole agenda has been focussed on Welfare Reform hitting the sick, disabled and unemployed rather than making work pay through improving the terms, conditions and wages of working people.

For working families real terms wages have fallen by £1600 a year, this is in addition to the Government’s Welfare Reforms that promised to make work pay but cut in-work benefits such as working tax credits and housing benefit.

A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has shown a sharp rise in the number of younger workers in poverty due to falling wages, zero-hour contracts and high rents. Over the last decade the income of the worst off has dropped by almost 10% in real terms, and too many people are trapped on poverty wages with only a fifth of low-paid workers being able to move to better paid jobs.

In the last year, two-thirds of people who found work are taking jobs paying less than the living wage, in increasingly insecure jobs. There are now 1.4 million employees on zero hour contracts with no guaranteed minimum hours or pay.

When does it become a crisis that one fifth of working age households in the UK are in poverty, including nearly one in three children.

We need practical steps to resolve the crisis facing working people, this includes banning exploitative zero hour contracts, making employers pay a living wage, and shifting the burden of deficit reduction from the poorest families to those who have benefited the most from our economy.

However, any policies seeking to tax the wealthy are described as the politics of greed, or a return to class war. There is a war, but it is on working people, our communities and standards of living. The politics of greed is a chief executive receiving an above inflation pay increase, on already excessive wages, while demanding pay restraint for low income employees. All of which is backed by a deluded Government that believes the economy recovers when their donors become richer at the expense of millions of people across communities like ours who are struggling to make ends meet.


  1. Robert says:

    This sound like it comes from somebody who was new labour is now part of Miliband labour and likes to speak about hard working people.

    One day a party will come out that speaks for the people be they work or not working.

    Until then Labour’s not the answer.

    Sound like it was written by one of Miliband drones labour is the party of the hard working.

  2. swatantra says:

    Good to see the term ‘working people ‘ now being the common currency. Only dyed in the wool troglodytes use ”w***king cl**s’.
    What makes me a socialist is my firm committment to redistribution of wealth ie top peoples pay is a disgrace; they spend it on luxuries like rolex watches worth £3k which is sickening because you don’t get a better time than a watch from Argos.
    I don’t li,ke wealth accumulating in families thats why I want to see harsher Inheritance tax.
    But the benefits should only go to the hard working and deserving; I draw the line at shirkers and scroungers who abuse the system and the good grace of the State; and Labour should recognise and admit that they are around and not hide their heads in the sand.

    1. Robert says:

      Swat a socialist Hitler was more socialist then you mate.

  3. Barry Ewart says:

    Yes it’s heart breaking when you read about (and personally know) working people in precarious labour in the UK and around the World courtesy of Neo-Liberalism’s drive for cheap labour (including multi-national subcontracted sweatshops in less developed counties). It is the labour of the working billions which creates the wealth and makes societies work and the rich and powerful legally nick their surplus labour so while the politically ignorant Right call it the politics of envy it is infact the politics of social justice! We just want our share of the.wealth back! Neo-Liberalism it could be argued has painted itself into a corner with its drive for cheap labour which restricts the ability of working people to buy commodites – the financial crisis has only been bought off for a few years by quantitative easing and credit and tax credits (subsidising low wages). The Podemos leader made a good point about buiding alliances in other countries which echoes what I have been saying as a democratic socialist, against International Neo-Liberalism we need be talking to sister parties in every country to try to pursue common aims such as perhaps a global living wage, more global democratic public ownership by country, taxes on the rich, windfall taxes on big business, global decent health services and homes, better global health and safety at work etc. we could also close all illicit offshore banking where the New Internationalist pointed out the rich and powerful have stashed 22 trillion dollars TO AVOID GIVING TO SOCETIES! As a democratic socialist one of my favourite sayings which was quoted in The Marmot Review comes from Pablo Neruda, ‘Rise up with me against the organisation of misery’. Yours in international solidarity!

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