Nurses, care home staff and police officers working on Christmas Day will be thousands of pounds worse off than they were a decade ago as a result of wages failing to keep pace with prices, Trades Union Congress analysis has shown.
Police sergeants and constables have had the biggest reduction, with inflation-adjusted pay £5,595 a year lower than a decade ago. Nurses have had an effective wage cut of £2,715 and local authority care workers a cut of £1,661, the report found. A chef would be earning £1,050 more a year this Christmas had pay kept pace with price rises, while a waiter would be £859 better off, the TUC said.
The coming year is expected to bring a fresh squeeze on living standards. Annual inflation is running at 5.1% and is expected by the Bank of England to peak at about 6% in the spring.
Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, said: “Many of the key workers who are bracing themselves for another surge of Covid cases are earning less in real terms than they were a decade ago. That is not right...thousands of key workers will be hard at work on the front line, many of them dealing with staff shortages as a result of the Omicron variant. But their pay awards are falling way short of what they should be, especially in a cost-of-living crisis..."