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Top earner pay has sprinted away since '00

Gap between rich and poor widened by 14%

The wage gap between rich and poor has grown exponentially across the capital over the last decade, the TUC revealed in an analysis of pay released yesterday.

The bottom 10 per cent of workers in London and south-east England have seen their wages fail to keep pace with top earners, with the gap widening by a jaw-dropping 14 per cent since 2000.

Announcing the union body's findings TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady (pictured) said inequality "is likely to become even more entrenched" if proactive measures aren't taken.

And the problem is clearly not exclusive to the capital.

While bottom-tier earnings in Britain as a whole have grown by around 42 per cent in the last 13 years, the best-paid people in the country have seen an increase of 50 per cent.

As a result, high earners are making a staggering £17,000 more per annum than they did at the turn of the milennium - more than the entire salary of a minimum-wage worker on £14,678.

"Everyone must benefit from the recovery, not just those at the top," Ms O'Grady added.

"The TUC wants to see a greater commitment to pay the living wage from both government and employers, a crackdown on excessive executive pay and modern wages councils which could set higher minimum wages where employers can afford to pay more.

Only Wales and south-west England seem to escape the trend of growing inequality with the Welsh pay gap down by 0.7 per cent.

However Wales TUC general secretary Martin Mansfield said this was no indication that there were better living standards in his constituency.

The data collected seems to suggest that rather than Welsh low-waged workers being better off, the best-paid workers in the region are not making as much.

"The dominance of London and the south-east, and the finance sector in particular, has undermined growth, jobs and wages in Wales and many other parts of Britain," said Mr Mansfield.

The TUC is hosting its first Fair Pay Fortnight from today until April 6


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