Unions are calling on the government to raise the national minimum wage, again, as the 6.6 per cent increase announcement back in October 2021 isn’t enough to keep up with the spiralling cost of living.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady implored the chancellor to return to parliament with an “Emergency Budget” to help people through the cost of living crisis that is seeing food banks at breaking point and a third of Brits already in or looking for multiple jobs to make ends meet.
“Rishi Sunak should immediately boost the national minimum wage, universal credit and pensions. And he should bring down energy bills by using a windfall tax to fund grants – not loans,” O’Grady continued.
Average earnings including bonuses grew by 5.4 percent according to new data released by The Office for National Statistics and despite this figure including bonuses, this failed to keep up with 6.2 per cent rise in the consumer price index, in February. The Office for Budget Responsibility expects inflation to reach a 40-year high of nearly 9 per cent when the energy price cap rises again this winter.
For those who don’t receive bonuses, pay grew by 4 per cent on average over the past year, but that puts it below inflation, and amounts to a real terms cut of 2 per cent to wages.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak called his increase to the national living wage back in October 2021 the largest ever, going up by 6.6 per cent from £8.91 to £9.50.