Nearly 2.2 million people in the UK are struggling to pay council tax, rent and utility bills because they aren’t paid enough, according to research by two universities.
The reason is Conservative restrictions on pay rises since 2010.
So much for the “trickle-down” economics of neoliberalism, beloved by Boris Johnson and his cronies.
The research by the University of Birmingham and the University of Lincoln shows that nearly 1.6 million people have fallen behind with council tax payments.
Nearly a million people are behind with their rent and more than a million are in arrears over their water bills.
Nearly 2.2 million people have been contacted by bailiffs over failure to pay (which suggests that many have multiple bill-related problems), and nearly one million have said bailiffs have broken the rules.
These findings make a nonsense of claims that average wages are rising.
Perhaps those figures have been skewed by huge increases in the amounts paid to top earners, while those of us who do the work are left to struggle?
Experience shows that higher pay for workers results in increased productivity and market dominance – as Henry Ford learned when he doubled the wages of employees at his motor company in the early 20th century.
He called it the best cost-cutting measure he ever made.
Conversely, as workers struggle to survive real-terms wage cut after wage cut, productivity in the UK has suffered its worst drop in five years.
We have nearly a million people struggling to cope with zero-hours contracts in which they don’t know whether they’ll be working (and therefore earning) from one week to the next.
Average weekly real-terms earnings are not as high as they were before the 2008 financial crash, while bills have increased.
Poverty is particularly high in accommodation and food services; agriculture, forestry and fishing; administrative and support services; and wholesale and retail.
Few households have any savings worth mentioning – the rate is lower than the EU average and far lower than many of our largest and closest European neighbours.
Oh, and Boris Johnson is determined to force us into a “no deal” Brexit, creating even harsher economic conditions.
Considering the situation now, it seems this would be a huge mistake.
He would literally run the entire country into the gutter.
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