The average Scots worker's annual wage has fallen by almost £1,900 in real terms since the Tory-Lib Dem government came to power five years ago, according to new figures.


Chief executives of top companies now earn the equivalent of the average annual wage every two working days.

The disparity is included in a new report by union leaders which warns that wage stagnation has added at least £33 billion to the Budget deficit.

The figure is more than the £30 billion of "fiscal consolidation," or cuts, that Chancellor George Osborne says is necessary over the next few years.

Citizens Advice Scotland said that they saw significant numbers of working Scots struggling to put food on their table because of low wages.

The SNP said that the analysis, by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Institute for Public Policy Research (Ippr) think tank, showed that stagnating wages were hindering attempts to balance the UK's books while Scottish Labour said that Scots needed decent wages and job security to help boost the economy.

According the breakdown of earnings surveys, the real value of the average full-time wage in Scotland fell by £1,882 between 2010 and 2014.

The average chief executive of a FTSE-listed company earned the the average Scottish wage of £27,045 in just over two days of work last year, making their annual salary 123 times the average Scottish wage.

A separate report also released today (mon) warns that a "pay divide" is opening up within the workforce, with some enjoying wages rises while others are hit by a salary freeze.

Almost half of employees had their pay frozen or cut last year, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), while a similar number saw their wages increase by at least 2 per cent.

The findings, which come from a survey of more than 1,000 employers, suggested a "tale of two workforces", with public sector workers most likely to see their pay held down, the CIPD said.

The reports come just a week after David Cameron called for firms to give workers a pay rise, arguing the time was right because of an upturn in the economy.

It comes as Labour leader Ed Miliband prepares to pledge to tackle the problem of productivity in the UK economy as Labour attempts to woo business with a vow to help small firms grow.

Citizens Advice Scotland spokesman Rob Gowans said its staff are still reporting "significant numbers" who are in real financial difficulty.

He added: "Many of these are people who are in work but whose income is just not enough to cover their basis living costs.

"Many of the people who are referred to foodbanks for example are people who are in work, but they are not earning enough to put food on the table for themselves and their family.

"Our advisers often see people who have to go without meals, or keep the heating switched off to save on fuel bills."

"Others get into debt - which usually makes their situation worse.

He added: "It's not just low wages that are the problem. We often see cases where a worker's wages have been withheld or not paid in full. Or sick pay and holiday pay withheld. zero hours contracts are also a growing problem which can see employees going without a proper income for long periods. "

Peter Kelly, Director of the Glasgow-based Poverty Alliance added: "This widening inequality in incomes is bad for business, bad for society and bad for the individual.

"In work poverty in Scotland is growing, with almost two thirds of children in poverty living in working households.

"The Scottish Living Wage accreditation initiative has enjoyed a great deal of success with now over 100,000 employees in accredited Living Wage businesses but we must now take action to make all aspects of work fairer including tackling the issue of underemployment.

"These current trends are unsustainable and both (Scottish and UK) governments must take action now before it is too late."

SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie said: "The TUC's analysis confirms that the Westminster establishment's obsession with austerity is failing to address the real issues in the economy.

"With the TUC correctly warning that wage stagnation is hampering efforts to reduce the deficit, it is clearly time for Westminster to take a different approach."

Scottish Labour's Jackie Baillie said: "We know that when working families prosper, Scotland prospers too.

"Scots need decent wages and security at work so that they can spend more and that creates jobs."

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said that the Chancellor had failed to reduce the deficit "because of his failure to get wages growing".

Ms O'Grady, who had previously called for workers to get a "top up" pay rise - to make up fro the money they have lost since 2010 - called for a "new long-term plan based on fair pay settlements and investment in the skills, infrastructure and innovation that creates decent jobs with decent wages."

The £33 billion calculation is based on a forecast made in June 2010 by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) - the government's independent economic watchdog.

The TUC says that if earnings had grown in line with OBR forecasts income tax and national insurance would have totalled £308.4bn this year.

Instead, the TUC analysis found the Treasury was expected to collect just £275bn.

The TUC warns that its findings suggest that if wages had grown as the OBR originally expected there would have been no need for large scale public spending cuts.

Gerwyn Davies, labour market analyst for the CIPD, added his organisation's figures "show a clear gap between employees that have comfortably exceeded the current inflation rate in their pay packets and those who haven't seen any increase at all.

"What's interesting is that this gap exists within sectors, with a significant proportion of employers able to afford a 2 per cent or above pay increase and a significant proportion of organisations in the same sector imposing a pay freeze."

But Mr Davies said the role of the Government was not to "cajole" business into giving more generous pay rises on the back of stronger economic growth and lower costs.

According to the CIPD private sector pay rises are forecast to average 2 per cent this year, and 1 per cent in the public sector.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said that overall wages were now increasing faster than inflation.

But he added that there was "still a long way to go".

He also said that there were 170,000 more Scots in jibs than in 2010.

A Treasury spokesman said: "The government's long term economic plan is working, halving the deficit as a share of GDP over the Parliament and wages now rising significantly faster than inflation. But the job is not done and so we must go on working through the plan that's securing a better economic future."