Branch Secretary : suz.muna.unite@gmail.com
  

RPI inflation hits 3.9% Britain still needs a #PayRise

 

Real terms pay cuts

 

Figures released on October 17th show inflation at its highest for half a decade with the Retail Price Index standing at 3.9%.  Driven by increases in essentials such as food and transport this means real hardship for many housing workers. Even the lower index that the government now prefers stands at 3%. Workers in the sector are facing real terms pay cuts.

 

5% pay claims

 

Local government workers, police staff and other public sector workers have put in claims for 5% increases next year.  On the 17th Unite reps from across the North West met and discussed the need for a serious fight on pay, including the idea of a 5% claim and a TUC lobby of Parliament and rally called for action on pay.

 

For many years the housing association sector has booked record surpluses year after year; last year £3.9billion yet housing association bosses have pleaded poverty as a justification for holding down workers pay and conditions in the sector. 

 

Kay Rogers, a housing assistant from Southampton, said: “When I get my monthly salary, part of my wages goes to salary sacrifice towards childcare. I bring home £20 a month. If it wasn’t for my PIP that I was finally awarded three years ago despite being disabled all my life, I wouldn’t be able to pay for food for us to eat.”

 

Toxic mix

 

Commenting Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Many workers on low to middle incomes are facing a toxic mix this winter of falling wages and a Tory freeze of in-work benefits such as tax credits and housing benefit. 

 

 

“This will only be compounded by the government’s cuts to Universal Credit and its botched introduction, which risks pushing people into debt and poverty because of a six week wait. 

 

“While any fail in unemployment is positive, government minsters must get a grip of the continued squeeze in incomes that is leaving many families struggling to make ends meet.

 

“The government must be mindful that its continued proclamations of a jobs miracle will go down like the proverbial lead balloon among people piecing two and three badly paid, insecure jobs together to get by. Unless and until it addresses the five million with no income guarantees then they have a jobs failure on their hands.

 

“Tory minsters must step back from their unthinking dash to introduce Universal Credit at any cost.  It will make working families nearly £3,000 a year poorer, again showing that under this government work does not pay. Heed the chorus of advice from across society – halt its rollout. To refuse to do so risks callously plunging people into debt and poverty.

 

“The government also needs to give Britain a pay rise by boosting the minimum wage and the wages of our public servants.” 

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