UK wages fall one of the worst in Europe

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Wages in the UK have suffered one of the sharpest falls in the EU since 2008, according to official figures.

The figures, which were requested by the Labour party, revealed a 5.5% reduction in average hourly wages since 2010.

This is the fourth-worst decline among the 27 EU nations.

In Spain wages fell by 3.3%, and in Cyprus by 3%. Eighteen other countries recorded a 0.1% drop over the five-year period.

France (0.4%) and Germany (2.7%) have seen wages rise since the financial crisis.

Only Greece, Portugal and Holland had a steeper decline than the UK, the figures show.

"These figures show the full scale of David Cameron's cost of living crisis," said shadow Treasury minister Cathy Jamieson.

"Working people are not only worse off under the Tories, we're also doing much worse than almost all other EU countries.

"Despite out-of-touch claims by ministers, life is getting harder for ordinary families as prices continue rising faster than wages."

On the mend

According to Labour's analysis of the figures, workers in the UK will have lost £6,660 by the time the next general election and incomes will be £1,520 lower in real terms in 2015 than in 2010.

A Treasury spokeswoman said: "The economy is on the mend, but we've still got a long way to go as we move from rescue to recovery and we appreciate that times are still tough for families.

"We are on the right track, the deficit is down by a third, over one and a quarter million new private sector jobs have been created, and interest rates are at near-record lows, benefitting families and businesses."

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