David Cameron is taking a leaf from Shinzo Abe’s book. “It’s time Britain had a pay rise,” the UK prime minister plans to tell business leaders on Tuesday (unlike the Japanese prime minister, he will deliver his message in a speech rather than over a few rounds of golf.) It seems like a political no-brainer with an election in May and a workforce that has suffered six years of real terms pay cuts. But is it really that simple? And what can Mr Cameron do about it anyway? Here are six charts that explain what is really going on.
1. It’s true that UK workers have suffered a brutal real-terms pay cut since the crisis.
It’s perhaps no surprise that today’s UK ONS paper, a component of its measuring national wellbeing programme appears to show a nation unhappy with its work life balance, with 48 per cent reporting low satisfaction rates. It has become someone of a truism that long-hour-working Britons are unhappy with their lot. But are they really?
The most interesting part of the release is the apparent disconnect between individuals’ attitudes when they assess their work and leisure satisfaction levels separately and together.
[easychart type="vertbar" title="Somewhat, mostly or completely satisfied(%)" height="250" width="592" grid="false" groupnames="Satisfaction with amount of leisure time,Satisfaction with job" valuenames="2002-03,2003-04,2004-05,2005-06,2006-07,2007-08,2008-09,2009-10" group1values="60.6,61.7,60.4,58.1,61.6,62.7,62.9,62.6" group2values="68.8,70.8,70.3,70,70.6,70.3,71.9,77.8"] Read more