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According to Trades Union Congress (TUC) analysis released today, it will take a working lifetime before the average worker in the South West will earn what one highly-paid UK banker receives for their annual ‘well done’ bonus.

 

Using the most recent figures reported by the European Banking Authority that reports on bankers’ earnings and bonuses, a highly paid banker in the UK received an annual bonus over £1.1 million (£1,115,314) in 2017.

 

However, when compared with the median average earnings of a worker the South West for that year (£21,797), the federation of trade unions calculate it would take 51 years on that salary before an individual earns a banker’s bonus. 

 

Using this analogy, many constituencies in the South West face working well into retirement before they reach these heady sums.

Given the persistently low wages in the area, workers in Weymouth and Portland would have to work 75 years before they earned the £1 million+ bonus. Other areas who also have to work beyond retirement include the Forest of Dean, many parts of Devon and Cornwall, and several coastal towns.

The TUC South West say this is indicative of how the types of jobs in many coastal and rural communities are limited, often poorly paid and with fewer routes to progress. 

Record pay for bankers but most workers still down on pay

 

Earlier this year, the TUC reported that real wages in the finance sector had jumped up by almost £120 a week since 2009.  However, most other sectors are still down, with the average worker in the South West lagging behind by £19 per week.

 

Workers in health and social work, and the education sector are facing bigger losses at £36 less per week than a decade ago, with most manufacturing and construction jobs also down.

 

We need to see wages rising again for everyone. Not just the millionaires.

Commenting, Nigel Costley, TUC regional secretary of the South West said:

 

“Many of us dream of winning the lottery, especially as we get closer to Christmas. But bankers – the architects of the financial crash – are winning every year on record salaries and bonuses.

 

“£1 million can buy a lot of things – in this case, one average worker’s entire salary until retirement.

 

“Banks brought this country to the brink. And working people had to salvage the economy with their hard-earned wages, through pay freezes and salary sacrifices, to reduced public services and cuts to school funding. And many are still feeling the pinch.

 

“Workers deserve a much fairer share of the wealth they create. We need to see a clamp down on bankers’ salaries – especially when the economy is stagnating.

 

“And we need to see wages rising again for everyone. Not just the millionaires.”

 

The TUC is calling on all parties to put working families first. 

 

They must:  

  • Get wages rising faster for everyone - not just the boardroom 
  • Ban zero-hours contracts and guarantee everyone the security at work we need  
  • Rebuild our NHS and the public services we all rely on – and don't cut taxes for the rich. 
Editors note

- European Banking Authority (EBA) source for the latest bankers’ bonuses figures is here: https://eba.europa.eu/sites/default/documents/files/documents/10180/2551996/239d027f-07ae-43f7-b161-3f458d443f3c/Report%20on%20High%20Earners%202017.pdf

- Highly-paid bankers are those that earn over €1 million in salary.

- Average gross annual salary for the South West (and per constituency and local authority areas) was used to calculate the number of years it would take to earn a highly-paid banker’s bonus. Figures are taken from the ASHE figures from the ONS, table 9, year 2017 to match the annual bonus year from the EBA.

- Breakdown per South West local authority is here:

Local authority

Median gross annual salary

Years to earn a high-paid banker's annual bonus

South West

21,797

51

Weymouth and Portland

14,889

75

Forest of Dean

16,161

69

Torridge

16,283

68

West Devon

16,559

67

North Devon

17,968

62

Torbay

17,978

62

Mendip

18,681

60

Cornwall

18,917

59

Taunton Deane

19,038

59

Teignbridge

19,208

58

Sedgemoor

19,337

58

Mid Devon

19,356

58

Dorset

19,576

57

North Somerset

19,941

56

Somerset

20,057

56

South Hams

20,069

56

Devon

20,441

55

West Dorset

20,770

54

Wiltshire

21,132

53

East Devon

21,330

52

Christchurch

21,742

51

Bournemouth

22,201

50

South Somerset

22,261

50

Gloucester

22,453

50

Bath and North East Somerset

22,549

49

Plymouth

22,618

49

Gloucestershire

22,791

49

Poole

22,923

49

Cheltenham

23,398

48

Exeter

23,401

48

Stroud

23,534

47

Bristol, City of

24,227

46

Swindon

25,105

44

South Gloucestershire

25,596

44

Tewkesbury

26,027

43

Isles of Scilly

   

East Dorset

x

 

North Dorset

x

 

Purbeck

x

 

Cotswold

x

 

West Somerset

x

 

X = data unavailable.

- Top 20 constituencies who will have to work the longest across the UK.

Parliamentary constituency

Median gross annual salary

Years to earn a high-paid banker's annual bonus

Clacton

13,725

81

Gedling

14,917

75

North Thanet

15,267

73

Berwick-upon-Tweed

15,521

72

Forest of Dean

15,881

70

Dwyfor Meirionnydd

15,924

70

Torridge and West Devon

15,959

70

St Ives

15,961

70

Leicester East

16,062

69

Sefton Central

16,066

69

Watford

16,353

68

Great Grimsby

16,404

68

Hackney North and Stoke Newington

16,645

67

Ludlow

16,827

66

South Thanet

16,904

66

Southend West

16,922

66

Castle Point

17,006

66

Leeds North East

17,259

65

North Cornwall

17,321

64

Oldham East and Saddleworth

17,350

64