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Energy bills remain high despite the cap cut – nearly three-years of the cost of living crisis have been devastating says Usdaw

Date: 28 March 2024 Retail trade union Usdaw has again called on the Government to intervene further in tackling a cost of living crisis that has severely impacted low-paid workers for nearly three years. Inflation first went above the target rate in May 2021 and peaked in double figures for six months.
On Monday the cap on unit prices of household energy is set to dip by 12% but remains over 70% higher than the winter of 2020/1. The typical household, on a dual-fuel direct debit, will pay £1,690 in energy bills from 1 April this year. Many could pay more depending on usage. Usdaw conducted a survey of over 6,000 members, mainly key workers, and found that:
  • Nearly 70% have struggled to pay energy bills in the past year, with 30% struggling to pay them every single month.
  • Around a third no longer use their household heating.
  • Over four-in-ten have cut down on other essentials such as food. 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “While household energy costs are slowly coming down, they’re still over 70% higher than two years ago and nobody has had an equivalent pay rise in that period. Alongside high energy bills, food prices continue to rise at twice the target rate of inflation. Any cost increase in essential items like energy and food, put a huge strain on those already struggling to make ends meet, because these fundamentals of life account for a large proportion of low-paid workers’ outgoings.
“Short-term support with ongoing cost of living pressures was not enough and has now been discontinued. As the cost of living heads towards its third anniversary in May, the Government needs to deliver lasting solutions for the low-paid with a new deal for workers. Labour has committed to the new deal Usdaw campaigned for, which will provide much needed employment rights to end poverty pay and insecure work. Our members and all workers need a Labour Government to deliver the change they are calling for.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is one of the fastest growing unions in the TUC and the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades www.usdaw.org.uk
Labour’s New Deal for Working People: https://labour.org.uk/updates/stories/a-newdealfor-working-people
Consumer price inflation, UK: February 2024:
Ofgem energy price cap: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/energy-price-cap
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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