Sunday, September 29, 2019

Times are Tough

One in five workers has skipped meals over the past year to make ends meet, according to research by the Trades Union Congress. When asked the same question two years ago, one in eight respondents said they had gone without food because they were short of money.
This year almost a fifth said they have gone without heating because they were unable to pay for it, while a similar proportion said they had pawned or sold possessions to pay the bills.
30 per cent said they would not be able to pay an unexpected £500 bill – up from 24 per cent in 2017.
Two-fifths of respondents said their biggest concern about work was that their pay was not keeping up with living costs, while one in 10 said they had been unable to pay their rent or mortgage on time.
The figures highlight a “toxic mix” of insecure work, low pay and weak wage growth that has hurt living standards for millions of Britons, the TUC said.
Last week, debt charity Step Change said it had received a record 331,000 calls to its helpline in the first half of the year, including a “worrying” proportion of callers who were falling into debt due to reduced income, illness or because they rely on credit to pay for day-to-day living expenses.
Unsecured debt rose to an average of £15,880 per household in the first quarter of 2019 – a £1,160 increase on a year earlier, an analysis by the TUC published earlier this month found.
Frances O’Grady, TUC’s general secretary, said Having a job should mean you can provide a decent life for your family. But after a decade of low pay, rising insecurity and public spending cuts, millions of working people are struggling to afford even the basics.”

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