TUC report reveals household debt has ‘hit new peak’

A report published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has revealed that UK household debt has ‘reached new highs’.

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The report revealed that unsecured debt per household rose to £15,385 during the third quarter of 2018 – representing a rise of £886 when compared to a year earlier.

Meanwhile, total unsecured debt rose to £428 billion in the third quarter of last year, according to the report.

The TUC said that government austerity and ‘years of wage stagnation’ are the key factors behind the increase in unsecured household debt.

Commenting on the findings, Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said: ‘Household debt is at crisis level. Years of austerity and wage stagnation has pushed millions of families deep into the red.

‘Our economy is not working for workers. They need stronger rights and bargaining powers. Trade unions should be allowed the freedom to enter every workplace to negotiate higher wages.’

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Business reacts to Queen’s Speech

28 May 2015

Prime Minister David Cameron introduced the Queen’s Speech, saying: ‘The first task of a ‘One Nation Government’ is to help all working people have security. And nothing is more crucial to that than a job.

‘A new Bill will help to create two million more jobs this Parliament. That means there should be a job for everyone who wants one – in other words, full employment.’

The speech received mixed reactions from the political and business world. A new Cities Devolution Bill received a lot of attention in the media, along with further mention of Chancellor George Osborne’s previously announced ‘Northern Powerhouse’ plans.

In response to confirmation of the new Trade Unions Bill, Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said: ‘A government that claimed to be on the side of working people now wants to tip the balance of power against them with draconian restrictions on the right to strike’.

General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Christine Blower, said: ‘This is a Queen’s Speech which entrenches inequality’.

However, Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Deputy Director-General, Katja Hall, said: ‘This is a jam-packed Queen’s Speech, with a strong focus on stepping up a gear on the economic recovery – locking in growth, creating jobs and boosting investment right across the country’.

Speaking on the Enterprise Bill, she added: ‘Pruning unnecessary red tape from Westminster and Brussels will give firms bursting with potential – especially small and medium-sized ones – the space to grow and thrive’.

She also welcomed the Housing Bill as a clear ‘signal that the new Government will make home ownership a top priority’.

Further announcements are expected when Mr Osborne delivers his Second Budget of 2015 on July 8.