Bank of England governor Carney to address unions on wages

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Bank of England governor Mark Carney will set out his plans for “real wages” when he addresses the annual conference of the Trades Union Congress on Tuesday.

Unions have complained that people’s incomes are not rising quickly enough despite the upturn in the economy.

Mr Carney will discuss the role that fiscal policy can play in boosting the labour market.

It is the third time a Bank of England chairman has spoken at the conference.

The last appearance by a governor was in 2010 when Sir Mervyn King blamed financial firms and policy-makers for allowing the economic crisis, admitting: “We let it slip.”

‘In-work poverty’

Mr Carney’s visit comes in very different circumstances, with the UK economy having grown by 0.8% in each of the first two quarters of this year.

But last month the Bank of England halved its forecast for average wage growth this year to 1.25%.

The slogan of this year’s TUC is “Britain needs a pay rise” and, on Monday, delegates backed a call by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union for a minimum hourly wage of £10.

It argued that this would “lift five million people out of in-work-poverty”, reduce benefit payments and free up money for public services and investment.

From next month the UK minimum wage will be £6.50 for people aged over 21, £5.13 for 18 to 20-year-olds and £3.79 for under-18s.

Mr Carney has declared himself “very enthusiastic” about coming to the TUC.

A Bank of England source said the governor would talk about the “relative performance of the UK labour market since the crisis” and the future of monetary policy.

Eddie George was the first Bank of England governor to address the TUC in 1998.

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