ARGUS COMMENT: Economy is key to vote
5:15pm Monday 12th August 2013 in News
FIGURES released yesterday showed wages in Britain suffered one of the worst declines in Europe during the economic downturn.
Since mid-2010, average hourly wages in Britain have fallen by 5.5% – only Portugal, Greece and the Netherlands had bigger declines.
The figures were produced by the apolitical House of Commons library but were requested by Labour, proving the economy will be the key battleground in the run-up to the 2015 general election.
Labour will attack the coalition for making life tougher for “hard-working families” – the phrase all main parties use to describe the type of people who will swing the election one way or the other. The Government, on the other hand, will say the country was sick and needed some pretty unpleasant medicine but is nowon the mend.
Ministers will also say raising the tax threshold has helped negate wage declines.
The reality is the cost of living has increased in recent years (inflation has been above its two per cent target for more than four years) while many workers have seen their pay frozen. The Government agrees times are tough but says the corner has been turned.
The opposition says life is getting harder for ordinary families under a coalition administration.
The main parties have entrenched positions on the economy.
Whether a sustained period of economic improvement will come before the next election and bring with it better wages and lower prices remains to be seen.
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