Sunday, July 14, 2024

Tories blamed as living standards in Thurrock slump

WAGES in Thurrock fell by twice the national average and it is the coalition government who are to blame says the GMB union.

In what makes for bleak reading at the end of the year, Thurrock’s full time workers suffered the second worst fall in living standards in the region with a drop of 11.6%.

They were only “beaten” by Bedfordshire which saw a staggering 20% fall.

Thurrock was followed by Suffolk with a drop of 8.8%, Cambridgeshire with a drop of 8.7%. In Hertfordshire the real value of average earnings for full time workers is down by 7.7%, for Essex the fall is 6%. In all of the 10 areas in the region living standards are down including in Luton, Southend- on-Sea, Peterborough and Norfolk.

The fall for the UK as a whole is 5.9% and for England is 6.2% during the same period.

Paul Hayes GMB Regional Secretary for the Eastern Region said, “These figures show that the Government’s strategy for an economic recovery is in tatters as living standards in the Eastern region drop by 7.3%.

“George Osborne has the economic literacy of a stick of rhubarb.

“Full time workers in Bedfordshire, Thurrock, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Luton, Southend-on-Sea, Peterborough and Norfolk have seen the value of their earnings drop when they have a job.

“Things have got a lot worse in the past year as the recovery underway 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 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 4% and GDP by 3.4% over the next few years.

“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 31,000 in Eastern, in the public sector, in the short time since the general election.”

In the analysis GMB looks at the figure for annual average gross earnings of full time workers in each region/area from official ASHE data for April 2007 from ONS before the recession kicked in.

This figure is compared with the figure for annual average gross earnings for the same region/area from ASHE for April 2011.

The changes shown in annual average earnings between these two periods, plus an uprating for wage increases to September 2011, are measured against inflation over the same period to calculate the real change in the value of these earnings.


  1. Quite why a fall in living standards in the period April 2007 – April 2011 should be blamed on a Government in power for only the last year of that timeframe is beyond me.

    Surely the real story here is once again Gordon Brown’s disaster Government, which spent billions it didn’t have, and failed to fix the roof while the sun was shining? Yet another example of the mess the current Government inherited and has to try to fix.

  2. Union Leader declares Tories are bad after working out the fall in the standard of living over a period mostly run by Labour. Unions are Dinosaurs from the previous century and are of no relevence to modern Britain. I see that Mr Hayes offers no alternative policy to improve matters. But he can’t can he, being a socialist he only has one policy and that is to spend money he doesn’t have. Nothing to see here, move along.

  3. If Maggie had got rid of the unions completely when she was in power, then we would be in even deeper **** than we our now!

  4. jmw118, care to explain your comment? I can’t see how the Unions have made life better for the country but I may have missed something.

  5. Perhaps Mr Hayes should also recall that the introduction of Labours mass immigration policy destroyed the living standards of most ordinary working class people by dragging wage levels down to those the immigrants were prepared to work for. Labours words not mine. This was a policy supported by the GMB wholeheartedly. So the GMB screwed their own members. The only thing the unions are worried about is the loss of subscriptions. That’s why they caved in over the pensions issue. The government threatened to withdraw public funding for full time union stewards and hey presto, the unions agree the offer on the table is fair. They got what they supported, low skilled low paid immigrants in jobs their members would otherwise probably be doing. Bit late to moan about it now.

  6. grays64, from my own personal 40 years working life experiences in the catering industry, I can only praise my unions for helping to increase my family and myself’s standard of living, even after having a below average secondary modern education.
    They always negotiated better wages, holidays, free legal advice and redunancy packages etc on my behalf, something I could never have done myself.
    And I also used to vote Tory!
    I don’t begrudge a penny of my weekly subs.

  7. As an ex Branch Secretary for one of the largest and most militant unions in the country I can say with hand on heart that unions are not worth a toss anymore, all they want to do is to feather their own nests, and of course they will continue the spout the Labour Party lines as they fund most of the Labour Party.

    Unions no longer generate the power that they used to have and will seek to hold more companies and the public to ransom even in times of austerity when they should be trying to resolve problems rather than creating them.

    Upthereds is completley correct in his statement about the influx of cheap migrant workers which have bought the salaries down to a complete joke in some areas of employment, it is little wonder that we have so many people claining benefits in this country as this pays them more than they would get working a 40 hour week due to low wages.

    We have gone form a thriving and great nation to a shadow of its former self, we can sit here and debate on which political party is to blame but unfortunatley the rot has already set in and it will take decades to reverse this.

  8. One of the best things Thatcher done was weakening the unions. If only she went the whole hog and got rid of them then we wouldnt have to put up with pointless strikes about pay when so many people have lost their jobs or have not had a payrise for the past few years.

    Union leaders are so far removed from society it beggers belief that people still pay to be a part of a union these days.


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