date: 13 December 2012
embargo: For immediate release
Commenting on the Eurostat figures published today (Thursday) which show that living standards in the UK dropped last year from fourth to the sixth highest in Europe, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'Today's plummet down the European living standards league table will come as no surprise to the millions of ordinary families struggling to make ends meet across austerity Britain.
'With wages failing to keep pace with rising prices, and many households soon to take an additional hit as tax credits and benefits are either frozen or taken away, people are understandably being careful with what little money they have and are reining in their spending.
'Families are having to watch every penny so high street spending is down and that's hitting shops and businesses. We need people to spend and businesses to invest and so expand - only then will the economy get back to growth.
'For all the Chancellor's talk of a 'global race', when it comes to living standards the UK is falling further behind. Instead of making families bear the brunt of its ill-thought out economic policies, the government should concentrate on boosting consumer and business confidence by putting jobs and growth first.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- According to new figures recorded by ONS and compiled by Eurostat, in 2011 the standard of living in the UK dropped two places to the sixth highest in Europe. The measure of Actual Individual Consumption (AIC) per head shows Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland - and now Germany and Austria - as having higher standards of living in Europe than the UK http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/mro/news-release/eurostat-ppp-release/ppp-news-release.html
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Issued: 13 December, 2012