Britain is getting poorer on Rishi Sunak’s watch despite his sunny optimism

Britons’ real disposable incomes are on course to fall over the course of the current parliament. That hasn’t happened since 1955, when the figures were first recorded. The problem for Labour, writes James Moore, is that the electorate doesn’t trust it to do any better

Wednesday 03 November 2021 21:30
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<p>Slick and sharp: Rishi Sunak is a presentational whizz but Britain is still getting poorer  </p>

Slick and sharp: Rishi Sunak is a presentational whizz but Britain is still getting poorer

Rishi Sunak is slick, sharp, and as impressive a salesman as British politics has seen in quite some time. This is helping to shield his party from an uncomfortable reality: he’s presiding over the weakest income growth on record. That’s real disposable income growth, adjusted for inflation.

By the end of the current parliament, he might even have delivered a fall, something which hasn’t happened since 1955. That was when the records were first kept. So they don’t cover either the depression of the 1930s, or what went on during the second world war.

The latest projection from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is for real household disposable incomes (RHDI) to have grown by a measly 0.5 per cent in total between late 2019 and the middle of 2024, when the next election is due.

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