Inflation figures highlight heating or eating dilemma

Commenting on today’s inflation figures, head of UNISON in the North West, Kevan Nelson, said:

“The unprecedented, unrelenting squeeze on family budgets is yet another example of the Tory-led coalition’s ongoing failure to turn recession into recovery.

“A public sector pay freeze turned squeeze has hit families and high streets hard. The spiraling cost of energy means people face the misery of choosing between heating and eating. And as families suffer, its boom time for millionaires in Tory Britain who are in line for tax cuts in tomorrow’s budget.

“The government has to take radical action to turn our economy around. Tinkering at the edges will not work. The Chancellor could take an important step in the right direction by ending the pay squeeze and stopping the jobs carnage in the public sector.”

Notes to editors:

A recent survey by UNISON’s Welfare Fund, There for you, found that more than half of applicants for a fuel grant (56.6%) had sacrificed food to keep warm, while 69% had cut back on clothing and 80% on leisure. The survey also revealed that 77.7% avoid putting the heating on, while 54.6% only heated the room they were in.

In the last year there was a massive 388% increase in demand for applications to the union’s fund for fuel grant assistance.

The union’s full plan to help the government turn recession into recovery is available here: