New evidence shows growing pressure on incomes with 67% of workers saying they need to borrow each month to pay for basics


New evidence has shown growing pressure on incomes as more than two-thirds of workers say they need to borrow money each month to pay for basics.

Independent research for Unite found 67% of people in the UK find their money runs out after just 21 days before they have to start borrowing to get by until the next pay day.

Official statistics this week show household incomes per head fell by 0.6% in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the fourth quarter of 2011 – its lowest level since the second quarter of 2005.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the drop is primarily due to inflation eroding the value of workers’ pay across the population.

The ONS says household expenditure is falling for the same reasons.

It says gross household saving was down 7% from £18.3m to £17m during the period.

According to Unite, the incomes squeeze is especially harsh for young people who, the research found, are struggling with housing costs – 40% need financial help to keep a roof over their heads.

The union has produced a film which also shows how families are forced to cut back on essentials, with 30% spending less on food in order to pay for other basics, such as rent and transport costs.

You can watch the film here:

Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey, said: “This government’s policies are not just crushing our economy, they are hobbling our nation’s ability to work it’s way out of recession.

“Ordinary men and women are working two jobs to get by, but they and their families are being hammered twice – once by the bill for the banker’s blowout and then again by cuts to the services that sustain our communities.

“Over and over again this government is trampling all over ordinary people and squashing hope. We need to stand up and say an emphatic  ‘no’, this is not what we voted for.

“We are urging people to come together on 20 October and say to  Cameron and Co, that they do not have the right to do this to the people of this country.

“If we don’t, then all that we hold dear – our schools, hospitals, communities – will fall further into decline.”

Music for the film is We are the people by Empire of the Sun.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
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