Low pay and wage stagnation have left a gaping hole in the UK's public finances. New research published by the TUC for Fair Pay Fortnight shows that the government is collecting £33.4billion less in income tax and national insurance than had been forecast by the Office of Budget Responsbility, following the longest squeeze on wages since Victorian times.
TTIP is a big issue for politicians, business, unions and the rest of society. The secrecy which pervades the negotiations has kept it out of public debate for too long... That's why the TUC's Congress this September called for the negotiations to be halted. A good deal could be done, but not by starting from here.
The simple truth is that many employers can afford to pay more. For large companies in sectors such as food production, banking, construction and software/computing - which employ over 1 million low- wage workers - paying all staff the living wage would mean an increase of less than 0.5 per cent of the total wage bill.
The critics of austerity have been proved right. The OBR confirm today what we already knew - the recovery is at least two years behind schedule. The Chancellor has failed to meet the objective he set of a rebalanced economy growing enough through exports and investment to close the deficit by the time of the next election.
On Saturday morning, I'm meeting Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the Greek Opposition and head of the left-wing Syriza coalition. We will be talking about the spectre that's haunting Europe: austerity. It may seem that Britain and Greece - at almost opposite ends of Europe - have little in common. In fact, we have lots in common, and lots to discuss.
The new leader of the TUC has launched a strong attack on the Government for its "vicious spiral" of spending cuts which are hitting low-paid workers ...