Families ‘facing a squeeze’

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The leader of the county council has called on opposition councillors and MPs to stand up for families that are being hit by ‘falling living standards’.

Labour’s Grant Davey has attacked the Coalition for ‘sticking up for the wrong people’ as figures released by the House of Commons Library saw average earnings fall by £1,350 since the last General Election, based on the average median weekly wage for all employees from 2010 to 2012.

According to the party, wages have fallen by an estimated 5.8 per cent in Northumberland and the average family is spending £360 per week just to keep pace with price rises and living costs such as energy and fuel.

Labour is also pointing out that in a rural county like Northumberland, families are spending a disproportionate amount of disposable income on the cost of running a car.

Figures released by Aviva show the average cost of running a car has risen to £51 per week.

Coun Davey pointed out that alongside ‘falling living standards that show the average working family has lost £1,350 since the Coalition took power, families in Northumberland now have to face up to the fact that the council has to cut at least £70million in the next two years’.

“That means every household will lose services worth £222 per year,” he added.

“It’s high time that Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors and MPs in the county made their voices heard in Westminster and started to stand up for ordinary families facing a Coalition double whammy of service cuts and falling living standards.”