UK Economy
UK growth in 2014 must benefit all says CBI chief; Calls for pay rises
By Finfacts Team
Dec 30, 2013 - 9:23 AM

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John Cridland, CBI director-general

As the recovery takes hold, it's important that all citizens benefit with growth properly balanced across the UK, John Cridland, CBI director-general, said today in his New Year message.

“The recovery is taking root and business leaders have a spring in their step compared to this time last year -- but this is no time to rest on our laurels," the chief of Britain's leading business lobby group said.

“Businesses must support employees in every part of the country to move up the career ladder, while also giving a helping hand to young people taking their first tentative steps into the world of work.

“As the financial situation of many firms begins to turn a corner, one of the biggest challenges facing businesses is to deliver growth that will mean better pay and more opportunities for all their employees after a prolonged squeeze."

John Cridland said too many people are "stuck" in minimum wage jobs, despite an upturn in the UK economy. He said most firms would expand their workforce in 2014 for the first time since the recession began.

But many people could not see progression in their jobs, he said.

Cridland added: "The good news is that wages will pick up in the year ahead, as growth beds down and productivity improves.

The Guardian says that the intervention of the CBI chief in the national debate on living standards comes as the GMB union warns that the real value of national average earnings has fallen by 14% since the start of the recession in 2008. Citing data from the Office for National Statistics, the GMB said average pay in 2013 was £27,174, compared with £26,137 in 2008. That emerged as a 13.8% drop in real terms when inflation and the rising cost of living were factored in, the union said.

John Cridland concluded: "If 2013 was the year that business trust took a hammering on a range of issues from corporate taxation to energy prices, then 2014 must be the year that business leaders take action to rebuild that trust."
Meanwhile, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) warned 2014 had to be a "year of productivity" if earnings were to rise sustainably.

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