Pay Freeze

The double dip recession has led to yet another year in which employees totalling about 7.9 million, that's one in ten people, have received a zero percent pay increase.

This lack of income has resulted in a large number of even those with a job being forced to use pawnbrokers and payday loans with crippling interest rates.

Pay experts have revealed that in the last year alone thirty nine percent of workers were given a pay freeze. The problem with pay freezes is the fact that the cost of living has continued to soar. This pressure has been unbearable for some families. The usual items a family needs to buy such as food and petrol have had significant increases over previous years. In addition to rising costs of living, the Government has reduced the benefits many of the families affected by freeze cuts used to be able to rely on for relief, for example family tax credits. Unfortunately, there is a middle area of employees who earn a wage too high to receive government support but too little to cover all the usual family expenses with ease.

The price of pay freezes can be seen in the drastic number of payday loans given out by companies such as Wonga. Last year they made more than 2.4 million loans. These were typically low amounts, usually just enough to cover a household bill or tie someone over until the next pay day in a week's time for example. Pawnbroker loans have increased too, in both frequency and amount. It was an average of one thousand pounds between the year 2010 to 2011, but soared to three and a half thousand pounds in 2011. This year it is five thousand pounds.

Debt advisor, Una Farrell, from the Consumer Credit Counselling Service said: 'The strain of having to pay for day-to-day essentials at 2012 prices, but with the same income as 2008 or 2009 is going to shatter many household budgets'. The Bank of England understands how the lack of increase in pay means that families are very much focusing in finding deals and increasing value for money. This is why promotions are so important.

Pay freezes are still evident and the Incomes Data Services, experts in pay, said that pay packages are actually getting worse. The average pay award is currently set at the same rate of the consumer price index measure of inflation, 2.5 percent. However, the business lobby group, the CBI, has said that workers should accept the pay freeze or paltry pay rises as 'the new normal'.

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