WORKERS in Gwent and Wales have seen their incomes fall by as much as £52 pounds a week since 2007, according to new research.
Figures from the TUC claim that with wages failing to keep up with inflation Workers in Wales have seen their average pay falling by 6.3 per cent in real terms.
But the picture differs from area to area with Torfaen registering as the second worse in the country with wages falling by 11.8 per cent between 2007 and 2012.
There the TUC says that workers have lost £52.89 on a 40 hour week. The picture isn’t much better in Monmouthshire where wages in real terms declined by 10.1 per cent, with the average weekly pay packet slimming down by £56.14.
Wales TUC General Secretary Martin Mansfield said: “Workers’ real hourly pay rates have taken a hit over the past five years because wages have failed to keep up with inflation. But this fall is also a result of the worrying increase in insecure and short-hours employment.
“And in many cases when people have lost their jobs, and are fortunate enough to find work, they are forced to take jobs with fewer hours and on lower rates of pay. This is not the way to build a strong economy – the UK needs far more better jobs on much better rates of pay.”
He added that the TUC will be urging employers who can afford to pay a living wage to start doing so.
Lynne Neagle, the AM for Torfaen, said the survey underlined a trend she’d seen on the ground: “The combination of falling average wages and rising prices has seen the living standards for people locally squeezed incredibly hard, and it’s little surprise many have been forced to build up debt on their credit cards or even turn to pay day loans companies and doorstep lenders.”
Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales East, Lindsay Whittle, said: “These figures confirm families’ real-life experiences that wages are shrinking compared to the cost of living. In Wales we are still suffering from having a low-wage economy and large numbers of hard-working people kept on zero-hours contracts.”
Caerphilly saw wages fall by 6.7 per cent in real terms, with workers losing £29.54 a week. In Newport wages fell in real terms by 4.7 per cent, with workers losing £20 a week.
Meanwhile in Blaenau Gwent wages fell by only 0.3 per cent with wages falling by the equivalent of £1.35 a week.