Living standards 'show sharp drop'
The living standards of UK workers have fallen by up to 28% over the past four years as a result of the recession and the "stalled" economic recovery, according to a new study.
Research for the GMB union showed an average fall of 5.9% when wage rises were compared to inflation, with the highest figure of 28.6% reported in Hammersmith and Fulham in London, followed by 22.7% in Herefordshire, 20.7% in Bedfordshire and 20.5% in Nottingham.
The biggest regional fall was in the North West at 9.1%, followed by the South West (8%), West Midlands (7.6%), east of England (7.3%) and Yorkshire and Humberside (7.1%).
The smallest fall in living standards between April 2007 and November this year was 2.3% in the North East, said the union.
GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: "These figures show that the Government's strategy for an economic recovery is in tatters as living standards in the UK drop by 5.9%.
"George Osborne has the economic literacy of a stick of rhubarb. Full-time workers in all regions in the UK 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 under way at the time of the election stalled and the country 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."
The figures were from an analysis by the GMB of official earnings data.