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Scottish Labour Conference: Usdaw calls for action to tackle the deepening cost of living crisis

Date: 04 March 2022 Retail trade union Usdaw has a delegation attending this year’s Scottish Labour Spring Conference and is calling for action to tackle the deepening cost of living crisis facing working people in Scotland. The conference runs from Friday 4th - Sunday 6th March 2022 and takes place at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
Tracy Gilbert – Usdaw Regional Secretary for Scotland says: “Many low-paid key workers, who kept the country going through the pandemic, were already struggling to make ends and now find themselves in a cost of living crisis, as a result of the UK Government’s damaging actions and the SNP’s total failure to act. With food and fuel prices increasing, energy bills soaring and real wages falling, our members need clear action to tackle rising costs.
“Spiraling household bills are putting many under pressure at a time when real wages are now lower than in 2008. A report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that poverty has risen steeply in recent years, with 19% of people now in poverty in Scotland. The report also states that without more action, based on current modelling the Child Poverty Act target in Scotland will be missed.
“Rising energy prices combined with the planned increase in National Insurance Contributions in April, will have a devastating impact on families in Scotland. The Resolution Foundation has calculated that the average household will lose £1,200 during 2022. In a survey of Usdaw members, 70% were already struggling to pay energy bills.
“There must be lasting and fundamental changes. We need a New Deal for Workers: a minimum wage of at least £10 per hour immediately, an end to insecure employment and action to ensure that retail jobs are no longer underpaid and undervalued. Low-paid working people desperately need substantial action to help them through this cost of living crisis.”
Usdaw calls on the UK and Scottish Government to urgently use the powers they have to ease the cost of living crisis through:
  • A windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas producers, to fund removing VAT on domestic energy bills for a year and expanding and increasing the warm homes discount.
  • Scrapping of the planned increase in National Insurance Contributions.
  • The SNP Government to provide a £70 supplement to the winter fuel payment for low-income pensioners and struggling households. 
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is 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.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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