Turn up the Abba – back to the 1970s?

The Chancellor, Alistair Darling, announced in January that the government wanted three-year pay deals with public-sector workers. He argued that this would help with planning for public-sector finances. But many commentators likened it to the pay freezes and incomes policies of 30 years ago. The articles linked to below from the Guardian look at the similarities between the economic situation now and 30 years ago.

1. Assess the likely success of a three-year pay deal in keeping the level of public-sector pay under control.
2. “The story of the past 32 years is of how three big factors – privatisation, globalisation and curbs on the power of trade unions – have made it far harder for pay bargainers to use low levels of unemployment to win hefty pay awards.”Explain how these factors have changed the balance of power in the labour market. Discuss the extent to which this assertion is true.
3. Discuss the extent to which the economic situation in 2008 is similar to that in the 1970s.