In 2010, 60,000 food bank packages were handed out in Britain. Last year, it was 2.5 million. This is the result of political choices – and the cost of living crisis will see millions more fall into food poverty.
The cost of living crisis isn’t new. From a record pay freeze to a shredded social safety net, it’s been building for years – and workers can’t take another hit.
Later today, a committee will vote on new anti-union measures including levies and severe fines – it’s part of the government’s campaign to deter workers from organising amid the cost of living crisis.
Britain’s shamefully low sick pay forces workers to choose between self-isolation and paying the bills – if the government is serious about tackling Omicron, it needs to raise it.
Ending furlough next week means pulling the rug out from under workers across the country – six days before the Universal Credit cut pushes 500,000 more people into poverty.
One year ago today, under pressure from trade unions, the government introduced the furlough scheme. It was a good start – but it was never enough, and the failure to build on it guaranteed a pandemic of inequality.
The crisis Britain faces this winter required an ambitious package of support – from an evictions ban to liveable sick pay and Universal Credit reform. Instead, we got half measures at the last minute.
For the first time on record more than a million people in the UK are on zero-hour contracts. And the biggest growth sectors? Social care and retail – key worker industries that the government claims to champion.
The government’s Kickstart programme is nowhere near enough – the only way to avoid widespread unemployment and a race to the bottom is by guaranteeing public investment in living wage jobs.