As above-inflation council tax rises loom – men’s real earnings in Devon fell by over 3 per cent in 2017

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A shocking figure leaps out from the Equality Impact Statement for next month’s Devon County Council budget – average male full time earnings in the county did not increase at all in 2017. The annual change was ZERO! Since inflation ended the year at 3.1 per cent per annum, this means average male earnings fell by this amount. Many families still rely wholly or mainly on a male full-time worker, so this means a drastic fall in many people’s income (indeed since the figure is an average, many will have lost more than this).

Average female full-time earnings did rise, by 3.8 per cent (a small real increase) but since many women work part-time, this doesn’t necessarily mean that overall women were better off. Taking male and female full-time workers together, there was a cash increase of 1 per cent, meaning a 2.1 per cent average decline.

Can Devon councillors go along with above-inflation council tax increases when their constituents already have falling real incomes?