In a TV interview with Andrew Marr on 3 Oct 2021, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed that UK wages were growing for people on low incomes. The interviewer (Marr) said that wasn't true - Johnson insisted that it was.
Who was right?
[Johnson] told Marr: “What you're also seeing is finally growth in wages, after more than 10 years of flat-lining what you’re seeing is people on low incomes being paid more and by the way, here an example -”
However, Marr interrupted Johnson to challenge him on this point.
“– Can I come directly to that, because you’ve said something that isn’t true I’m afraid, you’ve said something that isn’t true about wages -”
Though Johnson quickly responded and remained insistent that they were.
“- Wages are growing,” he replied.
But Marr didn’t stop there and referred to data from the Office of National Statistic.
He said: “The Office of National Statistics, the ONS, your our own body, in the last reporting period – the three months running to July – says that wages are not keeping pace with inflation.
“So in other words, in real terms, over the last three months, wages have gone down, not up.”
As Marr continued talking, Johnson appeared to be shaking his head in disagreement, to which Marr responded: “You’re shaking your head but these are ONS government figures.”
But Johnson refused to relent and replied: “No, wages are finally going up for the low paid and they’re going up faster by the way than they are for those on high incomes and about time too.”
“Well, that’s not what the numbers are showing,” Marr remarked.
“That is what the numbers are showing,” Johnson hit back. “And it’s about time we had that in this country – wages have been totally flatlining for more than a decade and what we would rather do is help people into better paid, better-skilled jobs which is what is happening.”
Moment Andrew Marr calls out Boris Johnson for ‘not telling the truth’ over wages increasing, Sinead Butler, The Independent, 3 Oct 2021
Original video: Boris Johnson on UK wages, BBC Politics (Twitter), 3 Oct 2021