by Tim Lezard Usdaw general secretary John Hannett has called on the government to use today’s Autumn Statement to tackle the cost of living crisis as a union survey of more than 2,000 workers shows that 80% are worse-off than they were five years ago. …

Tim Lezard UK, Political analysis

Toryby Tim Lezard

Usdaw general secretary John Hannett has called on the government to use today’s Autumn Statement to tackle the cost of living crisis as a union survey of more than 2,000 workers shows that 80% are worse-off than they were five years ago.

John Hannett said: “It is quite shocking that the lowest paid workers in our economy have suffered to such an extent. With the economy growing and unemployment falling, it is time for workers to feel the benefit in their pay packets.

“Our survey clearly shows that working people and their families are suffering in a cost of living crisis, with prices rising faster than incomes. Many low-paid workers experience even higher costs, because the prices of essentials like energy, clothing and basic food items are rising much faster than the headline rate of inflation.

“The government claims to have helped the lowest-paid by increasing the income tax threshold. That simply isn’t true, because the lowest-paid were already under the tax threshold and rely on tax credits to provide for their family. Under this government, Working Tax Credit is worth around £500 a year less because it has been frozen for three years and capped to a 1% increase this year.

“Today’s Autumn Statement is an opportunity to end austerity measures for the lowest paid, restore the real-terms value of tax credits and provide a way out of the cost of living crisis for Britain’s poorest working families.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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