Monday, 25 February 2008

Local wages fall £1,000 in five years

Local wages have fallen in real terms by £1,000 in five years. Our wages now lag Kent and the UK.

Official figures from the Office of National Statistics show that wage earners living in Dover & Deal have fallen behind by £2,000 a year compared with Kent and the UK in the last five years.

To my mind, these shocking figures result from the Government's failure to invest locally, failure to provide our community with its fair share and that this is taking a toll on local wages.

In 2002, the average local wage was £17,900 - the same as for Kent as a whole and almost £1,000 more than the then UK average of £16,964. In 2007, the average local wage was £19,000 - while Kent has shot up to £21,000 and the UK leapfrogged us to £20,000. Real local wages, after adjusting for inflation, have fallen from £20,500 to £19,000, a stand of living fall of over £1,000 since in five years.

This is a matter of real concern to me. For too long there has been underfunding locally. We need a fairer share of investment to take us forward. This is why we need urgently the road upgrades that should have happened 10 years ago. This is why Dover Council's regeneration plans are so important. This is why we need a change from talk to action and delivery. No-one should doubt how serious things are. We absolutely have to move Dover & Deal back into the fast lane.

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