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THE Tories have presided over both the worst period of economic growth since the 1920s and the biggest decline in real wages since Napoleonic times, TUC analysis reveals today.
The union confederation also blamed the Conservatives’ failure to deliver on growth for pushing up government debt by the greatest amount in more than a century.
TUC research found that the Conservatives’ response to the banking crisis and Covid-19 pandemic led to Britain having its lowest growth rate since the Great Depression. It fell to a measly 1.2 per cent on average between 2007 and 2019 and 0.8 per cent between 2019 and 2023.
Both rates were under the previous record low of 1.6 per cent, recorded during the 1970s, and well below the long-term national average of 2.3 per cent, they said.
Growth fell to 0.1 per cent between 1918 and 1929 but picked up by the end of the decade, averaging at 3.1 per cent until the start of the second world war.
The analysis also showed that real wage growth fell to 0.2 per cent between 2007 and 2019, rising to just 0.3 per cent since the pandemic.
Meanwhile, debt as a proportion of GDP grew by an average of 4 per cent a year between 2007 and 2019 and by over 3 per cent a year between 2019 and 2023, the TUC said.
General secretary Paul Nowak said: “The Conservatives’ failure to grow our economy has had dire consequences for working people and the country.
“Living standards have been hammered, our public services have been brought to their knees and government debt has skyrocketed.
“This is the result of political choices. Far from fixing the roof, austerity blew a hole in our public finances and trapped the UK in an economic doom loop.
“[We need] urgent investment in infrastructure and our public services to drive growth and deliver good, well-paid jobs across the country.”
GDP data released earlier this month showed that Britain’s economy had failed to grow over the summer.
Office for National Statistics director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “The economy is estimated to have shown no growth in the third quarter. Services dropped a little, with falls in health, management consultancy and commercial property rentals.”
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