What We Learned Last Week (05/08 – 10/08)

kamsandhu —  August 12, 2013 — Leave a comment

1) UK wage decline one of the worst in Europe

UK hourly wages have fallen 5.5% since 2010, ranking us the fourth worst in Europe, according to figures released and collated by the House of Commons library.

The figures were requested by the Labour party, and shadow Treasury minister Cathy Jamieson said:

“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.”

The only EU countries fairing worse than the UK were Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands. France saw a 0.4% increase over the same period, and Germany’s workers have seen a 2.7% increase.

Read more about this story here.


2) Bank of England links interest rates with unemployment figures



The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, announced last week that he would not raise interest rates from the current 0.5% until the employment rate reaches below 7%.

The current figure for unemployment is 7.8% in the UK.

Carney told the BBC that such a move was needed “when the recovery is just gathering some steam,” following some positive growth figures in the British economy.

The move has been hailed as revolutionary as it is the first time in the history of the Bank of England that there has been policy linked to targeting employment.

Read more about this story here.

3) Former Sports Direct employee takes company to court over ‘zero hour contract’ controversy

Zahera Gabriel-Abraham, a former employee of Sports Direct – who were found to use zero hour contracts for 90% of its staff, is taking the company to court to challenge the use of the contracts.

The argument against Sports Direct follows that it is the company that have flexibility while staff have none. Also, the case will challenge the absence of sick pay and holiday pay for some contracts.

Gabriel-Abraham is being defended by law firm Leigh Day, and is sourcing her funding for the case through donations in a campaign set up with 38 degrees.



Read more about this story here.

4) Tory Councillor resigns over the “discriminative” bedroom tax

Councillor Barbara Ainge has resigned from the Conservative party over the ‘unfair’ and ‘discriminative’ bedroom tax.

Councillor Ainge, a retired midwife, made the decision after the Council refused to implement a ‘No Evictions’ policy put forward by Labour Councillors.

Talking to the Northamptonshire Telegraph, Cllr Ainge said:

“I can’t accept the Conservative policy on the so-called bedroom tax.

“It’s totally unfair and it discriminates against the vulnerable.

“People’s circumstances are so complicated that it just could not possibly work to the advantage of the community, and when the Labour group put forward a motion to ensure that people wouldn’t be evicted if they got into financial difficulties I didn’t have a second thought not to agree with them.”

Read more about this story here.

Bedroom Tax Protest Image: birminghamagainstthecuts.co.uk

Bedroom Tax Protest Image: birminghamagainstthecuts.co.uk

by Kam Sandhu @KamBass




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