Socialist Worker

Cost of living rises is pricing workers out

Issue No. 2244

More than seven out of ten PCS and Unison union members have cut the amount they spend on food to try to cope with the rising cost of living, a survey shows.

One in three have been forced to reduce their spending on healthcare, including dental care, prescriptions and opticians.

And one in five have had to cut back on children’s clothes and shoes.

The IDS survey of over 10,000 union members reveals almost half did not get a pay rise last year.

It comes as the CPI measure of inflation jumped to 4.4 percent this week while RPI inflation rose to 5.5 percent.

A third of the PCS and Unison members surveyed now owe more than £10,000 in personal debt, while more than one in ten owe over £20,000.

One member admitted to “putting household expenses on credit, eg. food shopping/fuel, to get by”.

But the workers are not taking it lying down. Some 80,000 PCS members have voted for strikes or are balloting for action over different issues.

Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey told Socialist Worker, “Tory-led cuts will shred our services.

“They are dumping a generation of talented young people onto the dole queue, priced out of education and without hope of a job.

“Saturday 26 March will be the day when the ordinary people of this country tell a government they did not vote for that they are out of line.

“They deserve to be heard.”


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Tue 22 Mar 2011, 17:18 GMT
Issue No. 2244
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