Real time living squeeze, says CWU
People on the lowest wages are going to be hit the hardest by a drop in living standards, says Mark Elwen of the Communication Workers Union.
According to the Retail Price Index inflation is at 8.7% and the Consumer Price Index has it at 6.2%. CPI is expected to keep rising until at least the end of 2022, meanwhile wages are expected to average only 3.3%. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility real living standards are set to fall in 2022-23 by the largest financial year fall on record¹.
“Whilst there are different ways of calculating inflation, the simple fact is that the cost of living is rising rapidly and is set to continue to rise, and wages are not keeping up. Living standards for millions are set to plummet,” says Mark Elwen of the CWU.
“Everyone is going to be worse off, but those on the lowest wages and with the least disposable income are going to be hit the worst. To make matters worse we have a government that doesn’t seem to care and is actually adding to those costs and, as usual, too many employers who put their own employees at the bottom of the pile behind shareholders and bonuses for the bosses.”
Mark expects workers everywhere to be facing one of the toughest years ever to make ends meet, and is worried there is no light at the end of tunnel with the Office for Budget Responsibility stating forecasts for inflation, to decline after 2022, are subject to “significant uncertainty”².
Mark continues, “Workers need to realise that the only way to even out the imbalance between bosses and workers is to be a part of a trade union. No one else is looking out for you and individually you will achieve nothing. If you don’t have a trade union in your workplace, now is the time, more than ever, when you need one.”
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1. source OBR “Economic and Fiscal Outlook March 2022”
2. source OBR “Spring Statement 2022”