Union leaders angrily lined up to strafe David Cameron's faltering government today as it emerged workers are taking the pain of the recession in their pay.
As bankers continued to swagger around with taxpayers' money and bumper bonuses in their back pockets, official figures revealed household incomes got it in the neck more than in other recessions, with many people being forced to turn to loan sharks.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said net national income per person - which includes wages - fell by more than 13 per cent this year compared with four years ago.
Britain is reeling under the longest double-dip recession in 50 years and is heading for a third.
It also confirmed that at the end of 2011 national debt was in excess of £1 trillion - the first time on record and equivalent to 65.7 per cent of gross national product.
The ONS said the buying power of household incomes had been battered by a double whammy of the recession and high levels of inflation.
It said that at the start of the recession in 2008 incomes were holding up better than in the 1990s recession - but then the Tories grabbed power without a proper mandate and started bashing the workers and unions.
When the economy should have been picking up speed real household incomes began to fall and continued falling to the start of this year.
GMB union leader Paul Kenny said the figures revealed that recovery was well under way at this stage of the two previous recessions - but George Osborne's counter-productive policies have stalled it this time.
"If Osborne was a football manager he would be sacked by now."
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "An over-reliance on the housing bubble and personal debt exaggerated income growth in the run-up to the recession.
"Now families have been hit by the biggest squeeze in their living standards in nearly a century," said Mr Barber.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said the "toxic combination" of a pay freeze and inflation was undermining growth.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "We have a government which is telling working families to sink or swim, while they give tax breaks to the rich."
He warned there was a "debt disease" spreading across the country and more people across the country were falling into the clutches of pay-day lending sharks.
He said: "We need urgent action from the government to cap extortionate interest rates, which can pile misery on many working people struggling to make ends meet."
And Civil Service union PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "The government is not only failing to help those who desperately need it, but it is culpable in their suffering."
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