The Westcountry’s wage gap is growing every year as new figures reveal those with top salaries taking home better pay while average wage earners continue to see little difference in their pocket.
According to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) the chasm between the top 10 per cent of wage earners and average pay in the South West has grown by at least £7,769 since 2000.
The research was revealed by the TUC who said it demonstrated how hard working people continued to struggle on a day to day basis.
South West TUC Regional Secretary Nigel Costley said the simple fact was that wages needed to be boosted.
“These findings should worry everyone,” he said.
“Income inequality helped drive the financial crash as banks lent the savings of the wealthiest to those in the middle, who took out credit to keep up their living standards.”
He said the middle income earners being out of pocket affected the whole economy.
“A growing pay gap is not just bad news for people at the bottom but also for those in the middle because society is damaged as a whole by it,” said Mr Costly.
“That is why we need to boost wages for low and average earners so they can afford to make ends meet and spend money in their local economies.”
The figures show how wage inequality between the top earners, those in the 90th percentile, and those on median wages has increased since records began.
Pay for top earners increased by at least £22,765 between 2000 and 2013.
Meanwhile pay for middle-income earners increased by a maximum of £14,996 – a difference of £7,769.
The TUC research also reveals how much the top 10 per cent of earners across the UK bring home and how their salaries vary greatly.
The survey found that top earners in the Westcountry still lagged substantially behind their counterparts elsewhere in the UK.
According to the figures from the TUC, the highest top earners are in London where they receive at least £82,000 a year.
Next in the league are the top earners in the South East who earn salaries of at least £57,000.
Meanwhile, the top earners in the South West command substantially less on average with salaries of at least £48,000.
The TUC has also highlighted figures showing that Westcountry workers are taking home less pay than they did five years ago.
The findings come as the TUC begins two weeks of campaigning across the South West and Britain to raise awareness about fair pay and falling living standards.
Fair Pay Fortnight, which will run until Sunday April 6, will see a range of events across the region.