PAY packets have fallen in value by 13.5 per cent in the South West since 2008, according to the GMB.

The union’s analysis of data from the Office of National Statistics found that gross earnings across the country had risen by 4.3 per cent between 2008 and 2014, when inflation had been 19.5 per cent.

That meant an average drop in the real value of earnings of 15.1 per cent nationally, the union said.

In the South West, mean gross average earnings rose from £23,406 to £24,796, a real terms fall of 13.5 per cent.

GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: “These figures are a damning and shocking indictment of how the Tories have run the economy and who has benefited from their time in office.

“It has been the bankers and financiers first and working people and their families last.”

Some areas saw much steeper declines in the value of earnings.

Hammersmith and Fulham recording a 51 per cent drop, Camden 33.2 per cent and Sheffield 27.1 per cent.