WAGES on the Isle of Wight have fallen for the first time in six years, leaving Islanders £16 a week worse off.

An analysis of income data, collated by the Office for National Statistics and carried out by the BBC, has revealed typical median workers living in coastal areas earned just over £22,000 before tax last year — £1,681 less than those in non-coastal areas.

On the Isle of Wight, full-time workers earned an average of £480.90 a week, or  £11.94 an hour — falling for the first time since 2013 when wages increased year-on-year.

In 2017, full-time workers were earning nearly £16 more a week than in 2018.

Part-time employees were also affected, with their weekly pay dropping by more than £5.

The coastal wage gap has been attributed to the fact people living in coastal areas are more likely to have low-skilled, low-paid, seasonal jobs.

The government said its dedicated Coastal Communities Fund had invested in seaside areas.

However, Isle of Wight Labour chair Julian Critchley said: "These are awful statistics, but everyone on the Island will recognise them.

"Essentially, due to the last nine years of Tory austerity, the average Islander has had a real-terms 25 per cent pay cut — that's an astonishing reduction in our standard of living, unprecedented in modern times.

"While the whole country has suffered under the Tories, coastal areas such as the Island have suffered disproportionately, as these statistics show."

"A Labour government is now a necessity for the Island. We can simply no longer afford the Tories' economic incompetence."

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