Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Pay packets in Swindon worth less than a decade ago, says TUC

Workers in Swindon earn £35 a week less than they did in 2008, according to a new survey by the Trades Union Congress.

The TUC looked at the government's median weekly earnings across the UK, and found that the value Swindon wages were still worth 9.6 percent less than they would have been when inflation is taken into account.

By contrast, weekly wages in the boom years of 1997 to 2008 grew by £90 per week, or 25 percent.

At £35 per week the pay deficit was worse in Swindon than in the South West generally, at £19 per week.

And the impact of the pay squeeze was felt more greatly in the South West (-4.4 percent between 2008 and 2019) than in any area of the UK outside London.

The TUC said that not since the beginning of the eighteenth century has it take so long for real wages to recover from an economic slump.

The impact of the pay squeeze, said the TUC, had hit the lowest paid hardest, with household debt soaring as families struggle to make ends meet.

Unsecured household debt rose to £15,880 in the first quarter of 2019, up £1,160 on the previous year.

South West TUC regional secretary Nigel Costley said: “Hard-working families in Swindon will know only too well the struggle to pay the bills on poor pay. And it’s clear that many households are still feeling the pinch."

The TUC is calling for new rights so that workers can access the protection of a union in every workplace, new rights for workers to bargain through their unions for fair pay and conditions across industries, and the earliest possible introduction of a £10 minimum wage.

The TUC is a congress of 48 member unions across the UK, representing around half a million workers in the South West.