Everything is going up in price. Inflation is up to 4.4 percent, even on the figures that the government uses. That’s more than twice what Gordon Brown insists public sector workers’ pay rises should be.
Everyone is wondering how they are going to pay for heating and gas, how they can put food on the table.
Food prices have soared 14 percent in the past year. Basic supermarket own-brand bread would cost you 48p a loaf last year, now it’s 75p.
The average weekly shop has soared by more than a quarter to £127.
And it isn’t just food. ScotRail is putting up its ticket prices by 6 percent. Fuel bills have gone up by 23 percent – that’s adding an extra £239 a year to families’ bills.
It is outrageous that the Westminster and Scottish governments think that local government workers can accept below-inflation pay rises. That means wage cuts in real terms. Why should we subsidise councils because Brown won’t fund public services?
Like most workplaces, council departments run on goodwill as it is. It is time to stand and fight for fair pay. We can’t just stay still as we get poorer.
That’s why 150,000 workers in local government in Scotland and on London Underground are striking this week.
But it’s not just in the public sector. From electricity companies to Harrods, workers are moving to take action over pay.
Across councils in Scotland the unions are striking together. That’s what we all have to do to force the government to pay us enough to make ends meet.