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Pay gap widens among earners in North West

But region's top flight still trail national average, says TUC

Published on March 25th 2014.

Pay gap widens among earners in North West

WAGE inequality has increased significantly over the last 13 years according to new TUC analysis published to coincide with the beginning of the TUC’s first Fair Pay Fortnight which begins this week.

The figures – based on full-time earnings from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) – show that between 2000 (when the data was first collected) and 2013 the pay gap between the top 90 per cent and the bottom 10 per cent of earners in the North West has risen by nearly 4 pc. 

The TUC research also reveals how much the top 10 per cent of earners across the region bring home and how their salaries vary greatly to the rest of the UK. In the North West, the highest top earners receive £47,000 a year, much lower than the UK average of £53,000 a year and even further behind the averages in the South East (£57,000) and London (£82,000). 

Lynn CollinsLynn CollinsWorkers in the bottom 10 percent in the region will be earning three times less than the higher earners, taking home just over £14,000 a year. This, they say, is why pay must be tackled as an issue that is causing problems in society. 

The TUC analysis reveals that across most of the rest of the country the pay inequality ratio is also rising – up by fourteen per cent between 2000 and 2013 in London alone, nine percent in the South East, three per cent in the East of England, and two per cent in Scotland and the North East. 

Speaking ahead of their ‘Price of A Pay Rise’ event taking place on Tuesday evening in Liverpool, North West TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said: “We’ve talked often about how the North West needs investment in jobs, skills and pay to prevent a widening in the gap between North and South. The figures on take home pay show us that this gap is still there, but reminds us there is more we need to do on our own doorstep to overcome the growing inequality between those at the top and those at the bottom. This growing pay gap is bad news for our economy and bad news for living standards. 

We need to make sure this gap doesn’t widen and if we don’t see more high-skilled jobs with decent pay being created, this worrying pattern is likely to become even more entrenched. 

We hear of a recovery but it’s got to be one that people feel and are a part of – not just those higher earners at the top. The TUC wants to see a greater commitment to pay the living wage from both government and employers, a crackdown on excessive executive pay, and modern wages councils which could set higher minimum wages where employers can afford to pay more. We’ll be tackling these issues during Fair Pay Fortnight and will be asking the public to back our call to MPs to get all political parties to put decent pay at the top of their agendas in the run up to the election.” 

Price of A Payrise’ Event, Tuesday 25 March, 6pm – 7:30pm, the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool – Academic speakers on a panel to discuss why pay rises are needed. Attendance is free. Details here http://classonline.org.uk/events/item/the-price-of-a-pay-rise-the-case-for-increasing-pay-for-workers

Living Wage Summit, Friday 4th April, New Brighton, Wirral – Bringing together North West local authorities and MPs to discuss the Living Wage and implementing it. 

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