Issue date
This election is the most important in a generation for working families in Wales, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady will say in Newport and Cardiff Central today.

TUC analysis shows that:

  • Median wages in Wales are still lower today than they were before the 2008 financial crash. This is the slowest pay recovery for 200 years. 
  • Nearly a quarter of all workers in Wales are being paid below the Real Living Wage rate.
  • The number of employees on zero-hours contracts in Wales has jumped by 35% in the past year to 50,000 – the highest ever total.
  • 29% of children of Welsh children are being brought up in poverty. And work is no longer the guaranteed route out of poverty that it once was: 2 in 3 children in poverty in Wales live in working households.
  • UK Government austerity policies have had a huge impact on Welsh public services:
    • The Welsh Government block grant – the money that Wales has to spend on its devolved public services - is 5% lower in real terms than it was in 2010.  
    • There has been a £577m fall in local authority funding since 2010 resulting in a corresponding fall in staffing numbers of 33,000.
    • Wales has 378 fewer firefighters and 471 fewer police officers than in 2010.

The TUC is calling on the next UK Government to put working families first. 

They must:  

  • Get wages rising faster for everyone - not just those in the boardroom. 
  • Ban zero-hours contracts and guarantee everyone the security they need at work.  
  • Give the Welsh Government the funding it needs to ensure sustainable and successful public services. 

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Working people have had enough. Whatever our background, we all deserve decent jobs and public services so we can take proper care of our families.

“Families and public services in Wales have suffered through a decade of Conservative cuts, starving the Welsh Government of funding. People in Wales never voted for austerity, but it’s been imposed on them.

“Wages have stood still, but the cost of living keeps going up. And too often the only jobs available are insecure and low paid.

”We want better. So let’s use our votes to elect politicians put working-class families first.”