Policy News Journal - 2016-17

The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals ……………………………………………………………Policy News Journal

House price growth and earnings growth have both picked up since the downturn, but at different paces, so that housing affordability has been deteriorating since 2013. House-price-to-earnings ratios are not quite back to where they were prior to the economic downturn but have been rising over the past three years so that house prices are now, on average, eight times average weekly earnings (annualised). The July economic review can be downloaded in PDF format. This edition reports and comments on recent ONS figures on the economy, which cover the first quarter of 2016 in detail, together with early information for April and May. Respondents to ONS surveys during this pre-referendum period have not so far indicated that the referendum has had much effect on the figures in their returns. ONS will shortly be publishing statistics covering the period after the referendum on 23 June.

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UK workers experienced sharpest wage fall of any leading economy 1 August 2016

According to new analysis published by the TUC, UK workers have suffered the biggest fall in real wages among leading OECD countries,

The analysis shows that between 2007 and 2015, real wages in the UK fell by 10.4% – a drop equalled only by Greece.

By contrast, over the same eight-year period, real wages grew in Poland by 23%, in Germany by 14%, and in France by 11%. Across the OECD, real wages increased by an average of 6.7%.

The UK, Greece and Portugal were the only three OECD countries which saw real wages fall.

The analysis also shows that while the UK has increased employment rates since the economic crisis, countries such as Germany, Hungary and Poland have increased employment rates significantly more, while raising real wages at the same time.

Commenting on the figures, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Wages fell off the cliff after the financial crisis, and have barely begun to recover. As the Bank of England recently argued, the majority of UK households have endured a ‘lost decade of income’. People cannot afford another hit to their pay packets. Working people must not foot the bill for a Brexit downturn in the way they did for the bankers’ crash. This analysis shows why the government needs to invest in large infrastructure projects to create more decent, well-paid jobs. Other countries have shown that it is possible to increase employment and living standards at the same time.”

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Legislative priorities announced by Welsh Government 29 July 2016

Six Bills will be introduced over the next year - ranging from the establishment of new Welsh devolved taxes, to repealing sections of the Trade Union Act 2016.

Two Tax Bills will be introduced to establish the two taxes to be devolved to Wales in April 2018; a land transaction tax, which will replace the current stamp duty land tax (SDLT), and a landfill disposals tax for Wales, which will replace the current landfill tax. The Tax Collection and Management Act was passed by the National Assembly in April 2016 which provides the Welsh Government with the powers to collect and manage their own taxes. The Welsh Revenue Authority is being established to do this and will be operational by 2018.


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