WORKERS in Portsmouth have seen huge drop in wages since the start of the recession.
Figures analysed by the GMB union show that between 2008 and November 2013, average wages in the city have fallen from £22,850 to £21,840 – a decrease of £1,010.
That is a drop of four per cent but taking into account the increased cost of living, it translates as a 22 per cent fall.
While the price of property, food, energy and fuel has risen with inflation since the economic crisis began, wages and their value has gone down.
The city is one of the hardest-hit areas in the country, with the UK average wage reduced by 13.8 per cent taking into account inflation (real terms), and 14.4 per cent in the south east.
In Hampshire, there has been a real terms cut of 11 per cent but wages went up from an average of £27,810 a year to £29,585.
In neighbouring West Sussex, wages were down by 8.6 per cent in real terms, but also up from £26,394 to £28,811 – an increase of £2,417 over the five-year period.
Nicola Youern, chief executive officer of the You Trust, which runs advice services in the area including Advice Portsmouth, said there are a number of consequences of the falling value of pay being seen by her advisors.
‘For Advice Portsmouth, the issue is about hours being cut and therefore consequently pay,’ she said.
‘We are seeing more people on part-time contracts and zero-hour contracts.
‘The impact of this is that people are struggling to pay their rent and mortgage and priority creditors.
‘We are helping many people in these circumstances who come to see us to see if they are eligible for tax credits.
‘Quite often they are not eligible and this means that people are looking for a second job to be able to survive.
‘However even more concerning is that we are also helping many people who are going to pay day lenders and are being subjected to harassment by these lenders on a regular basis to repay their loans.’