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Generation reverse

3 October 2016

Marching against austerity 2015. Photo Andrew Wiard.

Real wages - in Britain have fallen by more than 10 per cent in the last ten years according to government figures. Among developed economies only Greece has experienced a similar fall. Ironically the influx of one million Polish workers and their families into Britain, whilst helping to depress wages here, had the reverse effect in Poland. The resulting labour shortage has enabled those remaining to force up real earnings by 23 per cent.

Going backwards

The Resolution Foundation think tank predicts that the current generation of new workers, those who are entering or have just entered the labour market, will be the first since records began to earn less than their parents during the course of their working lives. They found that workers approaching 30 will have earned on average £8,000 less in their twenties than the previous generation.

Home ownership

As if this was not bad enough, home ownership in Britain is at its lowest ever recorded levels. Most young people are excluded from the housing market. They are forced to live longer with their parents or to pay extortionate rents to the private landlords who are increasingly buying up all the available housing stock.


And what about their prospects when they would be thinking about stopping work with fast disappearing occupational pensions and an ever rising state pension age? TUC research shows that one eighth of the workforce, about half a million people, mainly manual workers will have to stop work before they reach state pension age due to illness or disability.