Pay inequality soars in London, says TUC

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Wage inequality has increased almost three times as much in London than in the UK as a whole since the millennium, according to a report by the Trades Union Congress.

The pay gap between the bottom and top 10 per cent of earners in London expanded 14 per cent between 2000 and 2013, according to an analysis of official earnings data by the TUC. The national average increase was 5.2 per cent.

The two other regions where the gap grew more than the national average were the South East and the West Midlands – where it rose 8.9 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.

The TUC, which on Monday launched its “Fair Pay Fortnight” campaign to highlight weak wage growth in the UK, said the pay gap was “bad news for our economy and bad news for living standards”.

Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, said: “The picture is particularly bleak in London and the South East, but in areas like the Midlands, the North West and the East of England a significant gulf has developed between top and bottom earners.”

There are many ways to measure inequality. The Gini coefficient – a different method – shows inequality surged in the 1980s but peaked in 2007-2008 and has subsequently receded to slightly below where it was at the start of the millennium.

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