Union body claims workers across the north west face 'cost of living crisis' as study shows wages fall below 2008 levels

A new study says that workers across the north west are worse off than they were a decade ago.

Figures from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) reports that workers in the region are still £13 a week worse off than in 2008.

The analysis of official figures shows that real wages are still three per cent below their 2008 level.

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By contrast, weekly wages in the North West grew by £84 (23 per cent) between 1997 and 2008.

The TUC says the last decade has been the worst period for wage growth in more than 200 years. Not since the beginning of the 18th century has it taken so long for real wages to recover from a slump.

The report comes after a study published by the union federation in September revealed that unsecured household debt per household rose to £15,880 in the first quarter of 2019, up £1,160 on a year earlier.

More than half of households now report having unsecured debt, most commonly in the form of credit card debt (60 per cent), overdraft (28 per cent), personal loans (25 per cent) and car finance (25 per cent).

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TUC Regional Secretary James McKenna said: “We need an economy that delivers for working families. But pay packets are still worth less than a decade ago.

“It’s not right that household debt is rising. And that kids in this region are growing up in poverty despite having parents in work.

“The government has failed to deal with Britain’s cost of living crisis.”

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