John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “With the economy growing and unemployment falling, it is time for workers to feel the benefit in their pay packets. The Government had the opportunity to do that today. They could have ended austerity measures hitting the lowest paid by restoring the real-terms value of tax credits, providing a way out of the cost of living crisis for Britain’s poorest working families.
“Working people and their families are still suffering. The Government claims to have helped the lowest-paid by increasing the income tax threshold. That simply isn’t true, because the lowest-paid were already under the tax threshold and rely on tax credits to provide for their family. Under this Government, Working Tax Credit is worth around £500 a year less because it has been frozen for three years and capped at a 1% increase this year.
"The Chancellor could have abandoned his conference promise of freezing all in-work benefits for two years if the Tories win the general election. It is now absolutely clear that the lowest-paid working families cannot afford another five years of Conservative government.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 433,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
The Usdaw Cost of Living Survey was conducted online, with 1,813 Usdaw members responding to the question: Compared to five years ago, do you feel financially...
...worse off 79.82%
...better off 5.32%
...about the same 14.86%
For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion