Cost of living protest to take place in Glasgow as low-income Scottish families face higher bills

A demonstration is being planned for February 12 in George Square, as part of a series of simultaneous protests across the UK.

It comes after Ofgem announced a 54 per cent increase in the energy price cap, taking the price from an annual predetermined fee of £1,971, up from £1,277.

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Analysis of the announcement by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) found that the poorest 10 per cent of households will see an increase in energy costs of £724, a 7.5 times higher increase than that of the bottom 10 per cent of households. richest families.

Families will face skyrocketing bills.

Meanwhile, real wages are expected to fall by £50 a month on average this year, according to new TUC analysis of Bank of England figures.

Inflation recently hit 5.4 percent as measured by the CPI and workers face a National Insurance hike in April. The Bank of England also raised the base rate from 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent, which could increase mortgage rates for homeowners.

Union Unite said it supported the protests, organized by the People’s Assembly, adding that it believed the UK government would use the cost of living crisis to “justify cuts in public services”.

The union said: “With the resignation of five of [Boris] Johnson’s closest advisers announced, and spoke of new divisions at the top of the government, it has never been the right time to protest. There is a cost of living crisis, and as we will show on February 12, we will not pay.”

Alfie Stirling, Chief Economist at the New Economics Foundation, said: “Ofgem’s announcement reveals what many have feared for several weeks: rising energy prices mean that millions of low- and middle-income households, retirees and families with children They will be impacted much worse than others.

The comments came as Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey urged workers not to ask for big pay rises, to try to prevent prices from spiraling out of control. Mr. Bailey received a payment of £575,538, including pension, in his first year as Governor of the Bank.

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Paddy Lillis, General Secretary of the Usdaw union, said: “Many underpaid key workers, who got the country through the pandemic, are already struggling to make ends meet and now find themselves in a cost of living crisis. With food and fuel prices rising, energy bills rising and real wages falling, our members cannot afford the wage restraint called for by the Governor of the Bank of England.

“Workers should not be asked to pay for a government-caused cost-of-living crisis. We need clear government action to address rising energy costs, rising taxes, along with the negative impacts on the economy from Brexit and Covid-19, which are key drivers of inflation.”

TUC chief economist Kate Bell said: “Hard work should pay for everyone, but real wages are bound to plummet again. Calls for wage restraint are ill-founded and will make the pressure on family budgets even tighter. As the Chancellor said yesterday, energy prices are pushing up inflation, not wage demands.

“Britain needs a pay rise, not another decade of lost wages and living standards.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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