British Prime Minister David Cameron urged business leaders on Tuesday to pass on profits from the economic recovery and lower energy prices to their employees by giving them a pay rise.
Speaking to the British Chambers of Commerce ahead of elections in May in which his Conservative party is running neck and neck with the centre-left Labour, Cameron said: "It's time Britain had a pay rise."
"Economic success can't just be shown in the GDP (gross domestic product) figures or on the balance sheets of British businesses but in people's pay packets and bank accounts and lifestyles," he said.
"For business, the conditions have not been this good for a long time," he said, promising also to increase funding for fast-growing businesses.
The opposition Labour party has attacked the government for creating a "cost of living crisis" and has called for increased taxes on the wealthy.
After a tough recession during the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, the British economy has recovered and expanded by 2.6 percent last year.
But salaries have only recently gone up by more than the rate of inflation, meaning that many households have suffered a fall in purchasing power.
Between the time when Cameron came to power in May 2010 and the latest figures in November 2014, average salaries rose by 7.6 percent while prices went up 12.1 percent, according to official data.
The TUC trade union criticised Cameron's speech as "no more than pre-election mood music".
Len McCluskey, leader of the Unite union, said: "If Cameron was serious about giving Britain a pay rise then he'd put his money where his mouth is and immediately boost the minimum wage.
"Instead we have empty words, which don't put food on the table or pay the rent," he said.