Real incomes rise just a little to June 2017

The ONS presented a healthy picture of employment growth in the year to June 2017. There are 338,000 extra jobs in our economy. Unemployment has fallen by 157,000 on the year. Many of the new jobs are full time jobs.

It also showed a small rise in average weekly pay, though it reported the figure as 2.1% up on a year. This left average earnings behind prices by 0.5%.

However, Figure 9 of the same ONS report provides a graph of average weekly earnings adjusted for price rises by putting the figures into a common 2015 price level. This shows June 2017 at £490.5, a little up on June 2016 at £488.2. This is confirmed by the average weekly pay figures in current prices reported at the top of Section 8. That says “average total pay for employees in GB was £506 a week (June 2017) up from £493 for a year earlier” That is an increase of 2.6%, in line with prices as measured by the CPI.

It is interesting that using June on June produces a different answer from using quarter on quarter which they highlight. It provides some light on why retail sales, consumer spending and jobs have increased when so many forecasters were expecting the opposite.

As some of you have pointed out, it leaves the unanswered question of why did the Treasury forecast big job losses following a pro Brexit vote and an Article 50 letter? It also raises the issue of which of these contrasting portraits in the same official document give the more accurate picture of what is happening?

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  1. Mark B
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Are many of those jobs high earning / taxpaying jobs ? You know, the ones without government subsidy. The figures suggest they might.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

      Yes they are

  2. Duncan
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    If we ignore the rancid, pro-EU musings of the London based commentariat and their political allies it is obvious to most who choose to see that the cataclysmic forecasts for employment, wages and economic growth prior to the EU referendum had one simple aim, to generate total fear and terrify them into voting Remain

    What we saw last year was one of the most shameful periods in British political history. It was nothing more than an organised attempt by the pro-EU British political, social and business establishment to slander and defame anyone who would choose to vote to leave the EU

    It is testament to the objectivity, decency and dignity of the British people that they chose to ignore this direct attack on their character and not buckle under threats from people who were supposed to represent them

    The UK’s success moving forward will be a product of the energy, ingenuity and flexibility of its people rather than the politicised, leftist trash dished out by those now occupying government

    • bratwurst
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      And, of course, what we are seeing now in one of the most shameful periods in British political history is the organised attempt by the anti EU movement to slander and defame anyone who would choose to remain in the EU.

      • Hope
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        Well said Duncan. Time to vote with your feet. The lab con is cartel is a waste of vote. May and Rudd still in office after three atrocities where they are ultimately responsible for our security and safety. Any changes to date?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        No, 16.1 million people voted to stay in the EU, and most of them had considered the matter more or less carefully and had formed their best judgement that on balance we should stay in the EU. Those people are innocent of wrong-doing, unlike the very small minority of pro-EU fanatics who lied before and during the campaign and who are still lying now.

  3. Richard1
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    We keep being told there is a big productivity problem – France is more productive than the UK etc. Isn’t this simply because employment levels are much higher? If we introduced a minimum wage of £20 ph and went to unemployment of 15% I imagine that makes the UK more ‘productive’ under the definition?

    • English patience
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Last time I went to France I had to wait more than two hours at a petrol station while the owner, workers and family had a two to three hour lunch outside. Nowhere else was open as it was a national holiday. I was there in my one car queue.. viewed all the time. They had a good meal indeed with wine. One of them then quietly ambled over and filled my tank. He was a man. It is shameful one of the women was not allowed to serve me and left only to continue drinking.

      • bratwurst
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        Try understanding the country you are visiting – no doubt you expect them to adapt to you requirements.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        A very bizarre story, I’ve never had anything like that in France. Why didn’t you drive to the next petrol station?!

      • Helen
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        They still tell the story of the idiot who waited more than two hours

    • John
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Has more to do with tax, the Personal Allowance of £11,500 tax free and EU workers earning that and going back home to spend it at home. The other is the huge rise in the black market from illegal immigration.

  4. sm
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    From all I have read and experienced over the decades, forecasting, whether political, fiscal or climatological, depends on:

    a) the experts’ personal idealogical leanings
    b) what programmes are used for modelling

    I only have faith in the forecasts of experts who have a demonstrable record of (mostly) getting it right.

    • Mad Hatter
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      When at any one time they do not have a clear indication of our permanent, temporary population, nor how many are away on holiday and for how long or how much of their money they expend and how….Nor the definite future plans for employers expanding or contracting employment as the CBI indicates they are in a fog or some kind of darkness where they cannot know what to do or when or how…Well, we could save money by not having people coming out with statistics which are obviously fictitious.

  5. Peter
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile on the Brexit front we are now hearing talks will be postponed until December to accommodate the German elections.

    And so it drags on……

    • hefner
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Oh, come on, German elections to the Bundestag are called every four years. One could know they were coming since 2013. Angela Merkel announced her candidature on 20 November 2016. If the present Government had not taken so long to call Art.50, and not wasting time on the June’17 GE, it might have been possible to have less interferences with elections in EU27 countries.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        I’ll give you all of the unnecessary delay to the negotiations due to the foolish unnecessary general election, but not all of the previous delay in triggering Article 50 TEU. While the matter was before the courts it would have been contempt for the government to just go ahead and put the notice in. It’s true that they could have conceded the case right from the start, or after the High Court judgement, rather than pursuing it to the bitter end in the Supreme Court. However on the other hand there would have been no opportunity for legal challenges if only David Cameron had kept his word and put the notice in straight away after the referendum …

    • Qubus
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Let’s face it, the EU is tying us up in knots.

    • I am the egg man
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      We should postpone them until there are just three months to go with no transitional period. Then the EU can be given the opportunity to work really smartly.

    • Chris
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      It does seem as though we are not in control and completely at the mercy of the EU. An unacceptable state of affairs.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Yes, funny that isn’t it..? Couldn’t possible be because Germany is the one paying the bills could it…. nooo…

  6. Helen Taylor
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    These figures really dont mean anything do they. There are a lot of us out there who havent had a pay rise in years. I have been in my present job for 5 years my pay is still the same as when I started. When I started I was on £1 an hour more that then minimum wage. Now I am only just above it. Not all employers give their staff wage rises. I would love to work for the public sector and get 1% a year increase.

    • graham1946
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink


      I think it is simply exploitation. The Stock Market is around all time high which reflects profits and the government insists they get more corporation tax from a lower rate than when it was higher so it is obvious there is plenty of money in industry – they just don’t want to share it out. No such problem in the board room. The top FTSE bosses have to exist on around 4.5 million a year (after a pay cut for some due to incompetence). I don’t think this is something to be defended. If they paid more, the economy would do better. Henry Ford knew this 100 years ago, but we seem to be back in the nineteenth century.

    • Pragmatist
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Then apply for a job in the public sector. Labour says people are leaving in droves. Therefore it should be easy to get a job .

    • libertarian
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:46 pm | Permalink


      In my sector ( digital ) the average pay rise is 10% this year. Maybe youre in the wrong job, get a new one there are plenty about

  7. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Lies, damned lies and statistics. My wages do not go as far as they used to. Shopping around is the best option but housing costs driven by increasing demand are still rising.

    Is £50K still considered rich for a single earner (not a household where there may be two £25k earners) child benefit purposes? Fiscal drag.

    • Dead pensioner
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      “Shopping around” is far more lucrative than in days of yore. As a young student was glad to save literally £1.50p going from supermarket to supermarket. Today I can save tens of pounds easy.

  8. formula57
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Once data sets have been aggregated, smoothed, seasonally adjusted and rebased for inflation with bonuses and back pay dealt with one way or another, it surely is a wonder that any numbers produced serve to do anything other than leave the reader discombobulated.

    What is clear though is that H.M Treasury is not up to the task of forecasting, even as far forward as a year ahead. Does not something need to be done about its forecasters?

  9. agricola
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Your submission today recalls the efforts Renault made to sell the Megane with a strangely designed back end. At least their attempt had humour and eye candy. I realise you have to make the effort, but £13 per week is probably the price of three pints of beer outside London, no doubt cheaper in an H o C bar.

    Pensioners get a real raw deal in the UK at around it’s best at £7488 per annum. Having worked all my life in the UK I get considerably less as do many more. Check out the rest of Europe.
    Spain £26,630 PA age 65
    Germany £26,366 ..
    Sweden £25,155 ..
    France £15,811 ..
    Denmark £11,381 60
    Netherlands £10,981 65
    Ireland £10,415 ..
    UK £7,488 ..
    Greece £3756 ..

    For your fifth greatest economy in the World, UK pensions are pathetic. Probably because it is a rob Peter to pay Paul government run scheme. Consider what the buying power of Spanish or German pensions would have on the UK economy were UK pensioners to receive similar amounts. The pay/ cost of living in the UK is more a reflection of the resilience of the UK workforce than any cleverness within government at running the economy.

    • alan jutson
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink


      Whilst I accept your point that in the UK pensioners get a small state pension, it would also be wise to look at how much other workers in other Countries pay in annual contributions to show a true comparison.

      Not an easy task in the UK, as National insurance covers many other things as well as pensions.

      • agricola
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        I am sure it is complex, but the differences are stark. NI these days is nothing but taxation in a different guise, and like all UK taxation bares no relation to what it was supposedly invented for in the first place, think of tax on motoring.
        All UK governments have been totally irresponsible in the handling of tax and national benefits such as North Sea Oil. Were they not so profligate with the wealth of the nation we would have a vast social fund a la Norway, derived from North Sea Oil. Watch them tax and spend the wealth of fracked gas if they ever get around to it’s use. It is a principal they have adhered to since we first acquired an empire, something for nothing, live for the present, but now on tick.

        • alan jutson
          Posted August 17, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Permalink


          Not to forget the tax which has yet to be placed on the charging of electric cars in the future.
          The government simply cannot afford to lose the taxation on the motorist or their fuel (whatever it is, whatever they use) !

          Again agree with the points you make.

      • miami.mode
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink


        As so many do not seem to make adequate provision for their retirement, maybe it would be no bad thing to pay more in to get more out.

        • alan jutson
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink


          “…Pay more in…”

          Great for those who can, perhaps a little more difficult for those who cannot, like those on minimum wage.

          Government should properly fund a sensible State Pension scheme which I suggest should be two thirds of nations average income, which should be based on number of years of the individuals contributions.

          40-50 years contributions required for maxim pension, and you get around 2% of the maximum for each year of contributions.

          • Lindsay McDougall
            Posted August 18, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

            Governments don’t fund anything. Taxpayers fund lots of things and governments take the credit.

    • hefner
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      “For the fifth economy in the world”: what is being talked about here is how the individual British person is related to the country’s wealth in their everyday life. In which case, the GDP PPP per capita can be seen as a better measure of this individual’s wealth. Last GDP PPP per capita figures for 2016 are available from the IMF, the World Bank and the CIA: the UK is respectively 24th, 21st and 27th in these published measures, the CIA measures being slightly different as Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Gibraltar appear as countries (before the UK), whereas they do not appear in the other two sets.
      GDP clearly measures the activities of the country, GDP PPP per capita might relate more to how the inhabitants of the country perceive their well-being.

      Just a thought, and tables to be reminded of in a couple of years’ time after Brexit, for comparison.

      • hefner
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        The easiest reference for such comparisons is on Wikipedia, look for
        “List of GDP(PPP) per capita”

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 4:45 am | Permalink

        Indeed GDP per cap (ppp) would be helped massively just by reducing the largely parasitic state, going for cheap on demand energy, having good only immigration, having a bonfire of red tape, competitive banking and some real competitive uplifting vision.

        Alas we have the opposite – lets build on EU workers rights, lets go for all the expensive green crap unreliables, lets tax and waste even more and worry our little heads about vital things like enforced gender pay reporting.

        Theresa May and her lefty ilk need to get real or go.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Interesting figures @agricola.

      What do the recipients in those countries need to do (contribute) to build up such a pot?

    • bigneil
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Agricola – I too worked and contributed 40+ years and don’t get the full state pension either. It aggravates me to think that there is an ever increasing number of one group that come here, do nothing, but are “entitled” to everything free, what the likes of me, you, and many millions more, have had to work and pay towards.
      Politicians wonder why people get resentful. Robbing Peter to pay Paul hasn’t got the correct last name.

    • Dead pensioner
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      I told you my pension was too low

    • Tony Sharp
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Do these figures for Pensions include all the additional benefits that UK Pensioners get?

      • agricola
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Those additional benefits you talk of only go to those who have saved nothing in their lives.

    • Margaret Howard
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Pensions may be pathetic but remember we get a free health service and free medicines. That is a tremendous saving.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 4:48 am | Permalink

        Well “free” at the point of being rationed, undelivered, hugely delayed and often of dreadful & dangerous quality.

        Take it or leave it mate we took your money already.

    • John
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      If you notice Agricola that many of these are plummeting down that OECD table because they don’t have the money to pay for them. Greece used to be near the top, France is on a battle over the retirement age. Basically, the longer these countries continue to pay unrealistic pensions the smaller the pensions will be later.

      If you really believe those pensions then emigrate to Spain, I hear it’s rolling in cash and open arms for foreigners.

      • agricola
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Well John I have been here for ten years and do not regret a minute of it. The only drawback to being in Spain is that at times you have to convert your hard saved for pension into Euros and the abysmal performance of Sterling means you get less and less.. Spanish pensions are largely for Spaniards not for jubilados (OAPs) from the UK . On balance it is cheaper to live here, the weather is better, pollution is none existent, the choice of healthy food exceptional, and the thermals for those of us who fly are out of this world. Last month I shared them with herons, red kites, and a profusion of vultures.

        Reply Glad you are happy there. Will you be staying or will you return to UK later in life? How good is your Spanish?

        • agricola
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          I do not see myself returning to the UK. My Spanish will never be good enough by Spanish standards, but it works in shops , restaurants, and well enough to have Spanish friends who are tolerant of my mistakes.Fortunately aviation is in English by law, but you are quite likely to hear French, German and Spanish over the radio. Life here in Spain offers the same level of freedom we enjoyed in the UK in the 60s before you were overtaken by Elf n Safety, Political Correctness and an invited population explosion. We can say it as we see it here. Additionally you actually see policemen on the streets here, and they are pro active as you will have seen in the last couple of days. This year I must have driven through at least three tooled up police ambushes which I find very reassuring. You should try it sometime, it’s very refreshing.

  10. jack Snell
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    So this morning you’re having another go at the treasury again and its forecasting, (for treasury read Carney?) – Yes all very well and good but a lot of people are employed in McDonalds type and other low paid zero contract jobs. Low paid workers in this country are really struggling at the moment with costs going up, the value of sterling falling and the black economy is booming- and it’s all happening right under a Tory watch

    • Truther
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      “Low paid workers in this country are really struggling…” No they are not.” I have had the lowest paid jobs for all my working life 1970s onwards. I have never struggled. I have smoked and drunk alcohol most of that time too.Holidayed abroad, expensive ones.

    • John
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      The people employed at McDonalds type jobs are from the EU, mostly Eastern Bloc where our minimum wage is double their national average wage. Add to that that double their national average wage is around our tax free Personal Allowance of £11,500.

      So they undercut the indigenous, earn this and take it home to spend in Eastern Europe.

  11. Bob
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    @Mr Redwood,
    Will the UK be free to negotiate trade arrangements independently of the EU after March 2019?

    Reply That is my aim, and according to recent papers the answer remains Yes

    • zorro
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Yes, but I want us to start negotiating properly now, and be ready to sign as soon as humanly possible after we leave. There is nothing to stop us negotiating, the only bar is on us entering into agreements whilst still nominally in the Customs Union. We are leaving on 31/03/2019 come hell or high water.

      In fact, it may concentrate the EU minds if we set our stall and actively be seen to be negotiating, instead of listening to Barnier blathering on about needing ‘clarification’ and ‘the clock is ticking’ blah blah.

      Surely, it is obvious from recent past history (Greece) that they have no intention of facilitating our exit or cooperating in any meaningful way. Every suggestion is opposed. I am glad to see that we are not falling into the trap with the Irish border. We state quite clearly that we will not police that border and will treat it as a CTA as we have done historically, and we need to stop pandering to the EU logic. They are the ones talking about hard borders – let them do it then but on their heads be it. If they can’t or don’t want to do frictionless trade, it’s their silly hidebound rules which paralyse them, so it’s their loss.

      We need to be bold and not be bound by them, they are playing tactics – enough is enough – it’s quite pointless negotiating as they will never approve anything amongst themselves.


      • Andrew Black
        Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Thank you for a shrewd observation of what is really happening.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink


      If we leave the EU on March 29th 2019 without an Article 50 TEU withdrawal agreement then I think the answer to your question would have to be “yes”.

      But if we leave the EU with a withdrawal agreement including transitional provisions then the answer will depend upon what has been agreed.

      At one extreme it could still reflect the ludicrous EU Commission claim that we are not even allowed to talk informally about new trade agreements around the world, let alone enter into formal negotiations. At the other extreme it could be agreed that we could negotiate and conclude trade agreements and even have them come into force before the end of the transitional period which starts when we leave the EU. My guess would be that it will be closer to the second extreme than the first, so we could negotiate and conclude trade agreements but only to come into full legal effect after the end of the relevant transitional period.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      And you still expect the EU to grant you unfettered access to the single-market ?

      • zorro
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        If they want unfettered access to ours – yes….


      • John
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        If the EU doesn’t ‘grant’ EU businesses tariff free access to the UK single market then so be it.

        Spanish and Portuguese food producers will see their export prices increased by 75%EU tariffs at the same time as countries from Morocco to Israel are seeing their EU 75% tariffs to the UK exchanged for zero tariffs to the UK once it is out of the EU.

        I’m happy to get my out of season food from places like Israel, apparently their avocados and citrus fruits are fantastic but because of the 75% EU tariff we get them from Spain instead. Maybe not in a couple of years?!?

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        Why are you so frightened of free trade agreements?

      • libertarian
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:50 pm | Permalink


        There ISNT a single market and never has been , and no I dont want want access to it or your customs union, that was my whole reason for voting out. The single market is a corrupt lie

      • Edward2
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 12:22 am | Permalink

        Well many nations trade successfully with Europe without agreeing to supremacy of EU courts, nor agrreing to freedom of movement nor being members of the Single Market

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Why not?

        Is it because we profit so much from our huge trade surplus with the other countries?

        That’s our huge trade surplus which was – £81 billion in 2016.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        What Britain is asking for is basically continued unfetterrered access to the Single-Market, not having to pay for it of course, not be subject to it ultimate arbiter the ECJ and to have the unlimited freedom to strike any FTA it wishes and possibly undercutting the EU in the process which all in all constitutes a set of privilege that no other member in the Single-Market enjoy.

        Let’s do a little role playing exercise. Supposed that you are a French, German, Dutch or Spanish politician. How do you sell such a proposal back home ?

        I am interested in earnest by your answers.

        Reply UK is offering them free access to our market. How would the French and German governments explain big agricultural tariff walls and 10% on their car exports?

        • Tabulazero
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          The same way the French and German government explained to their farmers why economic sanctions on Putin’s Russia were necessary despite the Russian hiking tariffs on agricultural products in retaliation.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted August 19, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

            So now you are comparing us to Putin’s Russia … are you sure that you don’t want to go the whole hog and demand strict UN trade sanctions against us, condemn us as a pariah state like North Korea? Thank God we will no longer have you and your kind chipping in to tell us how to govern our country.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 18, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          I might start by saying “Think how many of your jobs are related to our exports to the UK, do you really want to put them at risk?” That’s what we get treated to here, and we run a massive trade deficit with the rest of the EU not a huge trade surplus as they run with us. If that is sauce for the British goose then even more so is it goose for the continental gander … but it’s OK, we know that the EU is run by idiots who put their geopolitical dreams above any economic sense, we’ve already seen that with their idiocy over the euro and so it is nothing new.

  12. Brigham
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Our wonderful BBC had a story this morning about a firm losing a lot of business because of Brexit. Tugenhat (a remainer) was bleating about how terrible it all was. They only mentioned the job losses. Not a word about all the employment that has been brought about by the present government. It is time to get a grip of this anti-british company.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      It is time for the Brexit department to get a grip on its public relations.

    • Chris
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      It will carry on unimpeded as long as it suits the government. One therefore has to ask why the government finds the BBC stance/behaviour advantageous. The answer is not at all reassuring.

  13. miami.mode
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Average of around £500 per week contrasts enormously with basic pension of £160.

    • Dead pensioner
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Yes. But Labour informs us with so much pravda that such people on the lowest are starving..So, why can’t Labour accept those people have starved to death and can no longer vote for them nor anyone else nor draw a low pension.

    • old salt
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Not to mention the real cost of inflation to pensioners generally accepted to be many times CPI for extra heating being at home more, extra cost of buying food in smaller quantities etc, meagre interest on any savings left after almost a decade of so called austerity.

  14. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Damn lies and statistics.

    Today, specifically, you should be concerned that the increase in tuition fees is a mere 2.8%, however the interest rate payable has increased from 4.6% to 6.1%, so a 33% increase, which when compounded with the 2.8% increase, leads to a real increase of 36.3%, year-on-year.

    As for pay rises, to quote Times Higher Education, “Dame Glynis Breakwell, has already received some media attention for a £45,000 (11.1 per cent) pay rise that leaves her as the best-paid university leader in the whole UK, with total remuneration, including pension, of £451,000.”

    • Know-Dice
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Too true 🙁

      6.1% with a BOE base rate of 0.25% is totally unjustified.

      • bigneil
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        When a regular advert for money loans come on the tv and shows a rate of 1300+% – and clearly people MUST be using it – then something is wrong. How does anyone pay back with an interest rate of over 1300% ???

    • Prigger
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Tuition is not obligatory. Tuition is not a basic human need such as food, water, shelter. So your point is…?

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Anyone with an education and ambition starts out with an extra tax then gets walloped for 40% anywhere near mortgageable income.

      The gap between qualified doctor and never-worked single mum is ever closer. The young doctor is catching up !

      Fiscal drag.

      I don’t understand why people bother anymore.

    • Bob
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink
    • bigneil
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Nearly £9k a WEEK – I really don’t know how she’ll manage. Wonder if we’ll see her down at the foodbank?

  15. A.Sedgwick
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Received electricity and gas bills yesterday: unit cost increases:

    Electricity 8%

    Gas 16%

    I have no desire to play the energy futures market each year, a view many politicians and consumer “experts” advocate. The earnings and inflation statistics are irrelevant to many if not most people.

  16. Epikouros
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    The consumer confidence indicator tells another story as it is showing a drop. This does not make other more buoyant indicators that reassuring. Since the advent of greater involvement of government and socialist theories in the workings of our lives the trend is toward a more fractured and incoherent economy and social order. Mediocrity, corruption and inefficiency has grown. Stability and cohesion is suffering and wealth creation after constants fits and starts is spluttering to a halt with the very real danger it will soon start to go into reverse.

    We have created a society where progressive thinking has convinced us to jettison self believe and put our faith in those who purport to know what is in our best interests. They tell us if we behave and do, think and say what they tell us then we will with little or no effort be cared for from cradle to grave. The fact that is blatantly wrong does not scare us as who does not want something for nothing and anything for a quiet life. So we blithely accept this new order with some but very highly condemned exceptions walk toward a fate that no doubt we will eventually come to regret intensely.

  17. margaret
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    First of all I had to look up what ONS stands for . Then like any other audit , research or gathering of information we are not told of the method used , the sample , the time scale ( however as you point out time scales can cause a difference in result)
    I had a job in Charge of a research unit in the 1990’s , I wanted to carry on , but I was told that the NHS was not interested in research units ( i.e Manchester University), however I was surprised to see how loose research was. If this happens in medicine , nothing surprises me.

  18. Terry
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Odd that neither Labour nor LibDem have condemned the terrible Tories for lowering unemployment. They certainly have not praised them.
    Higher employment will not do, as the socialist dogma dictates that everyone should either work for their Government or be dependent upon their Government.
    Having a job in the Private Sector deems the employee independent and that is anathema to a red socialist.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    We haven’t actually left the EU, but contrary to Project Fear it’s so far so good.

  20. Bert Young
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    There is no doubt that it costs a lot more to live today than it did a few years ago . Shopping , fuel , rates and a whole host of things that impinge on one’s everyday living require the family to be prudent ; evidence of credit card debt says otherwise . I always take seriously whatever the BoE and the Treasury say ; I review their statements equally seriously a few days afterwards !.

  21. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, more pro-EU anti-Brexit mischief-making from the Times today:

    “EU migrants can come to live in Britain after Brexit”

    “Freedom of movement will continue under plans, with no immigration controls along Irish border”

    “EU citizens will be free to travel to Britain and live here after Brexit under immigration plans being drawn up by the Home Office.

    The principle of freedom of movement will remain for those who want to visit or stay in the UK but a system of permits will limit the number of people migrating to work.

    Westminster was accused yesterday of allowing the Northern Irish border to become a “back door” into the UK after ministers confirmed that there would be no immigration controls between the north and south of Ireland.

    The Times understands that, under Home Office plans due to be published within weeks, there would be no extra curbs on EU citizens travelling to Britain through other ports and airports.”

    During the referendum campaign the Remain side tried to pretend that if we left the EU then that would be the end of visa-free travel between the UK and the EU. The Leave side pointed out the UK and France agreed to visa-free travel of their citizens between their two countries in 1946, nothing to do with the EU which did not even exist then, and with third countries like Ukraine lining up to be allowed visa-free travel into and within the EU it seemed a bit daft to suppose that anybody would want to create unnecessary obstacles for travelers making shorter term visits to and from the UK for a range of purposes.

    If a French citizen resident in France wanted to visit London why should they travel there via the Irish Republic and then Northern Ireland? Unless they either had some good and legitimate reason for that diversion – in which case there would be no problem and no need for any check at the Northern Irish border – or they knew that if they tried to travel direct to London they would be spotted and excluded – in which case why could there not be a unified watch list for the Common Travel Area, which also predates the EU?

  22. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Why don’t you write formally to both the Treasury and the Bank of England asking why their forecasts were so pessimistic and incorrect and release both your letters and any replies to the press?

  23. Chris
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Apologies for being off topic, but these sort of reports are hugely worrying, partly because the Remainers appear determined to stop at nothing. Is there any truth in this, Mr Redwood:

    Reply Ask them

    • Chris
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Seems this has been elaborated on in the Press today, as well as in the FT a few days ago: Wolfgang Munchau gives the Remainers their ideas?
      “The Article 49 strategy to keep Britain in the EU. If the UK wants to reboot its relationship with the bloc, this approach is best….”

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 18, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        At least Munchau has got it right about Article 49:

        “You might protest that such a campaign is not winnable. An Article 49 application would force the applicant to accept the entire body of EU law with no opt-out and rebates.”

        But then he goes off into fantasy land:

        “I keep hearing that argument, but the UK’s toxic half-in, half-out existence has not really worked out, has it? Never mind that the EU would not be happy with Britain getting back to the status quo ante. An Article 49 accession would offer a second chance … ”

        “What about the euro? In theory, the UK would have to join the eurozone after acceding to the EU. But the reality is that no country will ever be forced to adopt the euro against its will. Sweden and Poland have no formal opt-out, yet neither is going to join.”

        So this is his self-contradictory fantasy: yes, to rejoin under Article 49 we would have to agree to join the euro, but we could just agree to do that on paper without having the slightest intention of ever doing it – presumably to get their support the UK voters would be told that we plan to act in bad faith on that – and the EU and all its member states would happily go along with that blatant attempt at deceit even though “… the EU would not be happy with Britain getting back to the status quo ante” and so would doubtless demand some absolutely irrevocable guarantee that we would in fact join the euro within a stated, and short, timeframe.

        To be honest my only serious worry about this is that the decision to rejoin might not be put to a referendum.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 18, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      The Express says:

      “Instead they are waiting until a deal has been thrashed out, in the hope that Parliament and the people are given a choice whether to accept the new terms or re-enter the EU.

      They are gambling voters will opt to go back to the EU, re-entering under Article 49 of the Lisbon Treaty.

      This would allow the UK to be admitted under its existing terms, including its opt-puts from the Euro and Schengen, rather than signing up from scratch, and so would be at the mercy of the terms of full EU membership.”

      That is absolute rubbish.

      If we leave the EU, whether under Article 50 or otherwise, there is nothing in Article 49 which would allow us re-enter on the previous terms; we would be treated like any other candidate for EU membership and we would be expected to sign up to join the euro and Schengen, and without any EU budget rebate, and without any of our existing opt-outs from Justice and Home Affairs etc.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    What is worrying is that the student debts are being passed to private companies. Are we nearing a situation where getting educated can mean having the heavies chasing after you ???

  25. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I still haven’t seen any reasoned argument as to why 2% or 2.5% price inflation is better than zero inflation. I’ve heard it argued that some people will be forced to take a pay CUT from time to time if there is zero inflation. Good; that would rub their faces in reality, knowing that they are not making progress, and they might take action.

    While wages are rising by 2.1% per annum and prices are rising at 2.6%, we know that inflation is the opium of the people. Politicians like it like that.

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I’ve just been looking for something about the generally good economic news in George Osborne’s free rag, and I don’t immediately spot anything … so instead here he is, along with David Cameron, at the B&Q headquarters just a month before the referendum, forecasting immediate economic Armageddon if we dared to vote to leave the EU:

    I’ll leave out the personal abuse …

  27. Monza 71
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Not a great reader of the Express but this morning there is an excellent analysis of the state of the Brexit negotiations by Leo Mckinstry :

    Says it all, really !

  28. Lifelogic
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    You ask:- Why did the Treasury forecast big job losses following a pro Brexit vote and an Article 50 letter?

    To deceive the public into a remain vote of course.

    The same reason for Cameron’s pack of lies tax payer funded leaflet, his pretence that he had re-negotiated anything of value, his sloping of the pitch all over the place, the propaganda from the BBC and most of government, his attempts to distort the purdah period, Osborne’s pathetic punishment budget threats, Carney’s threats and May’s blatant lie that we had control of our borders through Schengen.

  29. Tony Sharp
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that far too many of the new jobs, indeed too many in any case, are the in very low productivity personal services economy of Catering, Bar Staff, ‘leisure retail’ and the straightforward ‘Coolly Jobs’ as Car Washers, Maids, Nannies etc which are Zero hours casual and if the pay is Declared to the Revenue nevertheless qualify the ’employee’ for In Work benefits. If they are East and South Europeans then they arrive and have actually not made any NI / Tax Contributions for this.

  30. RDM
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I have another issue with Europeans!

    Am I allowed to say, without up setting the Europhiles?

    Most of my work has come from Europe!

    Did you know Germany, Sweden, Belgium, NL, Norway, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, etc, … Are forcing all contractors to pay all thier Tax, no matter how long you are there, in that country, and back here!

    The retention rate in Germany is now 40% !!!! Are they kidding!!

    Free, open, Single Market, you are kidding??

    Surely, that says it all, their attitude to the Single Market?

    That’s 40% before you pay VAT and Income Tax back here,!

    Obviously, no point looking to Europe (any more), to build a customer base!

    I am told, there are people that are trying to build a GB customs Union. Something they can, eventually, align with Europe’s.

    Would that make sense, with the positioning of Hammond, Rudd, and others (ex-judges).


  31. ian
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    How do the new jobs get added, of 338,000, every week, month, qu or yearly, i ask, because these are full wages and not increases in wages of 2%, and when MPs rise in wages was 11% for 650, that might leave 3000 workers without pay rises.

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just read:

    “Today the government unveiled its plans for the UK to retain visa free travel arrangements with EU passport holders post Brexit”,

    and so I thought I’d look for full and accurate information on that development via the twitter feed of David Davis’s department:

    But needless to say there is nothing at all about it there.

    Instead what there is on google is endless speculation about what his department will say when it does get round to saying something official rather than giving private briefing to journalists so that they can have a head start in distorting and misrepresenting it.

    I can’t believe the sheer incompetence of this department’s public relations; by now they must have seen that there is a massive constant propaganda operation to try to prevent the department carrying out the tasks with which it has been entrusted – the tasks for which the department was set up – and yet they do NOTHING to counter it.

    Why is that? Is it because it’s all a sham, and there is no intention that the Department for Exiting the European Union will ever arrange for us to exit the EU? Or is the plan that we kind of exit the EU, on the surface, but then public opinion pushes us back in?

  33. ian
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    No, that’s 3,575 workers 0% pay rise.

  34. prigger
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Barcelona: has Mrs May any more silly remarks she would like the nation to hear?

    • Chris
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      I have switched off listening to her. She really is beyond the pale, displaying little political wisdom or skill, in my opinion.

  35. David boyle
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Average pay in Sterling has stayed flat and Sterling has lost 10 per cent of its value in the last year against other currencies. I can’t believe you can put a positive spin on the currency losing so much ground plus the increase in borrowing needed to support it. after Brexit you’re ten per cent better off if you move abroad. I’m in Belgium now as I’m better off being paid euros. I used to live in burghfield mind you I didn’t vote Tory either so you’ll probably be glad to see the back of someone who actually works for a living.

  36. ian
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Top line employment rate of 32.o73 , with, 75.1% of the working population working. well if you take out over 65 working of 1.167 and 3.6 million overseas workers, leaves about 27.3 uk workers, and the 75.1% rate go to about 63%, which means that 37 percent of 16 to 64 year old are inactive for one reason or another in the uk.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 18, 2017 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      Well of course they are.
      Some are retired.
      Some are partners of other people who are the main earner.
      Those who do not need to work, for example inherited wealth or sold a business.
      Younger ones are studying or being funded by their family.
      Some are disabled in one way or another.
      Some are suffering illness or injury.
      And your interpretaion of the official statistics is very odd.

  37. JoeBr
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    It is reported that the govrrnment is now working towards allowing eu nationals to come in here in any numbers without distinction and without control after march 2019..but this is the very thing we voted against.. our political leaders are going soft..they should know we don’t want any more eu citizens coming here- neither visitors nor tourists..let them go elsewhere.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      It’s called betrayal.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 18, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      I didn’t vote against tourists from the EU coming here and spending their money into our economy. True, all tourists can be a bit of a pain but my serious problem is with large numbers of migrants settling here, not coming on short visits.

  38. margaret
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Another terror incident in Barcelona. I am sorry we need to get out now and put the big wall up here. Who the hell do these free wanderers think they are?

  39. John
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Question John; Which “average” do they use, the mean, the mode or the median? They will all give you a different number and it makes a huge difference to the man at the bottom.

  40. Prigger
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    When Putin-Land was attacked by terrorists, it was said Russia’s response would be inhumanly cruel, severe, violating every international norm of military conduct and, immediate. Next thing. Poison bombs were dropped on people in persons “unknown”. Were there any attacks by terrorists afterwards on Putin-Land?
    So,we have been grossly attacked and slaughtered , butchered, again , like unsuspecting trusting cattle by Islamic State.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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