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British Leyland workers protesting against pay cuts in London, 1977. “Wage settlements sky rocketed, even though inflation was high.” © Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images

It’s called the Big Squeeze. Not the title of a pastiche Raymond Chandler novel but shorthand for what has happened to UK real wages in the past few years—though the extensive economic detective work this has triggered rivals anything Philip Marlowe ever had…

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