Issue date
10 Feb 2015

10 February 2015

Commenting on the speech David Cameron is due to make today (Tuesday) on pay to the British Chambers of Commerce, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Since David Cameron became Prime Minister the average wage is worth £2,500 less a year, the worst fall in living standards since Queen Victoria was on the throne.

“Saying it would be nice if wages went up is no more than pre-election mood music. If elected again his policies would do the opposite. Huge cuts would take spending back to the same share of the economy as in the 1930s. This would depress the economy and mean public sector wages would fall every year. On top of that he would make strikes almost impossible, holding back pay across every sector.”


- From April 2010 to April 2014, the value of average gross annual earnings of full-time employees in the UK decreased by £2,509, or 8.4 per cent. Source: ASHE, adjusted by RPI.

- The Prime Minister’s speech is expected to highlight the situation for wages in different sectors for the three month period September to November 2014. The following chart shows the change in wages for different sectors from 2010 to 2014.

Real median UK gross annual wage changes from 2010 to 2014


Service Industries

Retail cashiers

Public Sector

Private Sector

2010 real






2014 real






2010-14 real £ change






2010-14 real % change






Source: ASHE 2010 Revised, and ASHE 2014 Provisional

 - Britain Needs a Pay Rise is a TUC campaign and it was the name of a major national march and rally in London on 18 October 2014. More information can be found at

- The TUC is organising Fair Pay Fortnight between Monday 16 February and Sunday 1 March. The Fortnight is part of the TUC’s Britain Needs a Pay Rise campaign and will feature a series of events across England and Wales to raise awareness about low pay, pay inequality and the need for higher pay settlements in the public and private sector. For more information please visit

- All TUC press releases can be found at

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