Wages haven’t dropped so fast since Victorian times – here’s how Labour is exploiting that fact

Do you get the feeling your salary stretched further during the last government? Or the last century?

You might be correct, as wages have not fallen this much since Victorian times, according to figures from the House of Commons Library.

Between 2010-2015, wages will have fallen 2.3% after inflation going by the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast. The last time it fell so sharply during a single government was 1874-1880, when Benjamin Disraeli was in power, where it fell 2.6%.

This will also be the first parliament since the 1920s where earnings were lower at the end than the beginning.

Check out the full table from the House of Commons Library:

Wage fall table

Labour’s new catchphrase?

This comes as Labour asks voters “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”.

The phrase was originally used by Ronald Regan in the run up to the US elections in 1980, where he defeated Jimmy Carter.

Ed Balls is set to make a speech today where he will say: “While David Cameron and George Osborne complacently claim the economy is now fixed, the truth is most people are worse off under the Tories. For working people, average wages after inflation are down by over £1600 a year since 2010. This is a dismal record of failure.”

However, Treasury Exchequer Secretary Priti Patel said: “The real choice Britain will face next May is between a long-term economic plan that is supporting hardworking taxpayers, or a Labour Party that hasn’t learned its lesson and would add more debt than future generations can ever pay.”

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