Union says austerity agenda is choking real growth and creating long-term unemployment


The rise in inflation to 2.7% should act as a warning to the government that its austerity agenda is choking real growth and creating long-term unemployment, says UNISON.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: “The rising cost of energy and fuel will mean a cold Christmas for millions. The rise in inflation will come as no surprise to families struggling to pay costly energy and food bills. Christmas should be a time of celebration but many people are dreading the pressure it will put on their finances.

“There is a very real danger that today’s rise in inflation will tip family budgets over the edge and into the arms of unscrupulous pay-day loan companies.

“It is time to end the three year pay freeze hitting millions of public service workers and to help health workers such as nurses, paramedics and therapists who have had no increase for two.

“The government is failing to get a grip on high unemployment and increasing inflation meaning that middle-income families are experiencing an unprecedented squeeze on their incomes and low-wage households are being priced out altogether.”

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “These figures are a big blow to millions of workers who need their pay packets to catch up with the rising cost of living.

“Much of this rise is a direct result of government policy. The trebling of tuition fees has dealt another blow to young people already struggling for work.

“People have been getting poorer for nearly three years now and their incomes are being squeezed even tighter. It could take many years to undo the damage caused by our living standards crunch.”

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