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Eleven unions confront Chancellor with evidence that workers are stretched to the limit

UNIONS have confronted Chancellor Rishi Sunak with evidence that workers are being financially stretched to their limits.

The Trade Union Co-ordinating Group (TUCG), a campaigning alliance of 11 unions, has provided Mr Sunak with a report that highlights how, with inflationary pressures projected to grow, the real value of take-home pay will be eroded further than it already is.

Workers in the food sector are experiencing concern over their ability to feed themselves and their families, the report found.

A recent survey of Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union members revealed that 40 per cent of respondents had not eaten enough during the pandemic due to a lack of income.

Nearly 20 per cent said that there had been a time when their household had run out of food and 35 per cent had gone without food so others in their household could eat properly.

More than 7 per cent said they had relied on a food bank to provide meals.

The report also found that workers in the Department for Work and Pensions, responsible for the administration of universal credit (UC) applications, are struggling to make ends meet and are experiencing the impact of the £20 weekly uplift withdrawal.

And low rates of pay are leading to a recruitment and retention crisis across a range of public services, including the Civil Service, prison and probation system, transport and further education.

The TUCG blasted the decision to scrap the UC uplift and the reinstatement of the minimum income floor as “the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since World War II at a time when the economic effects of Covid-19 are still being felt.”

Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack said: “We warned ministers that clapping key workers would not pay the bills but it seems that, in government, memories are short and morals in short supply.

“It won’t be lost on workers that their wages are set to be cut while the government continues to hand out contracts worth billions of pounds to its cronies.

“If finances really are a worry, the ultra-wealthy and the corporations who have cashed in on this pandemic should shoulder the burden through emergency tax measures.”

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