The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 29th January 2016
THE WAY that official statistics on income levels in Britain are published has been hiding a shocking increase in the number of people living in or very close to poverty, according to a report by Graham Vanbergen of Global Research, published last week by the True Publica website.
If the earnings of the top 10 per cent are discounted then the average pay for the rest of us is just £12,969 per year.
The Equality Trust and High Pay Centre has calculated the average pay for workers in Britain as £26,500. But this is misleading because it is distorted by the very high pay of the richest one per cent.
The figures show that the top 0.1 per cent are earning a few pounds over £1 million per year and the top one per cent are earning an average £271,888.
Even within the top 0.1 per cent there is a widening gap. The top FTSE chief executives are earning an average of £4.3 million and it takes them just 2.5 days to earn the average annual workers’ pay.
These statistics do not include other successful groups such as self-employed entrepreneurs. The top 10 per cent of workers in Britain earn £79,196.
But the truth here is that this also includes the earnings of the top one per cent, meaning the next nine per cent don’t really earn that figure.
But the most shocking number is that the average pay of the next 90 per cent (by stripping out all earnings of the top 10 per cent, including the one per cent and 0.1 per cent groups) leaves an annual income of just £12,969.
The data is about two years old but is still the most recent available. This means that things will actually be slightly worse as all analysts agree that inequality is getting worse, not better.
That statistic itself is shocking enough on its own but many people in that 90 per cent category earn considerably more than £12,969, leaving the bottom 20 per cent earning around £5,500 a year.
So how are British workers and families really doing? Since 2008 just one in every 40 jobs created is full-time.
By 2014 this was the equivalent loss of nearly 700,000 full-time jobs. In 2013 there were more working families living in poverty in Britain than non-working families for the first time since the beginning of state welfare.
In 2013 alone there were 500,000 more families added to numbers living in poverty. A survey from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation revealed that out of 26,400,000 households in Britain there were 6.7 million families with adults in employment who met the criteria of living in poverty, compared with a combined 6.3 million of retired and unemployed families living in poverty.
These figures combined clearly indicate that about 45 per cent of all households in Britain are now living in what is defined as poverty and require some form of state aid to survive.
According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the largest group in poverty are working age adults without dependent children and there are 4.7 million people in this situation alone, the highest on record ever.
According to the same charity and the New Policy Institute, who worked together on a report , they found another 4.3 million families who were in work but need state support just to survive (data could only be collated from 2012).
Oxfam says that one in five of the total population in Britain now lives below the official poverty line, meaning that they experience life as more than just a daily struggle.
A new report finds that up to 1.5 million benefit claimants may be facing destitution after disappearing from the welfare system. Government is failing to track why all claimants have dropped off the roll, meaning it has no idea how many people are being left penniless, according to Frank Field, the Work and Pensions Committee chair.
Field went further to say: “Benefit sanctions are being applied on a scale unknown since the Second World War and the fate of those penalised is anyone’s guess.”
The Government department responsible does not count them and HMRC doesn’t count anyone earning less than £8,500.