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Inflation to 'heap more misery'

Wednesday August 18th 2010

Union leaders have said over a million council employees and other workers across the country facing a pay freeze will continue to endure "misery" due to the level of inflation.

According to Unison, workers such as binmen, dinner ladies, nursery nurses, home-care workers and teaching assistants have been told to expect no pay rise this year.

Some of them are paid less than £21,000 a year, the union said.

It may be a good time for many to think about taking out income protection insurance, as the union warned such workers would struggle more and more because of the pressures heaped on them due to inflation.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Union said: "Inflation may stand at 3.1% but the cost of many basic items has soared into double figures. Buying bread, milk, tea, eggs - basic food for the family - paying for gas and electricity or putting petrol into the car is a major worry for council workers, who are getting zero percent this year.

"Local Government workers face two more years of pay freezes which will lead to long term hardship as debt levels rise. Next year, nurses, midwives and paramedics will become the latest targets for the Government's cuts, as their pay is set to be frozen for two years.

"Instead of piling more misery onto public sector workers the Government should look at alternatives to pay cuts such as fairer taxes and targeting those banks that continue to revel in paying out super- bonuses to the super-rich."

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said around five million public and private sector workers were facing a pay freeze or low rise, which was worsening their living standards.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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