Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed today’s announcement by Labour leader Keir Starmer for an energy price cap freeze at current levels. The fully funded proposal would protect the average household from £1,000 plus energy price increases due in October and next year, while keeping inflation down.

At the weekend Usdaw published statistics from their cost of living survey of over 5,500 retail staff, mainly low-paid key workers who deliver essential services which showed that:

  1. 7 in 10 have relied on insecure borrowing and 60% of these are struggling with repayments.
  2. 1 in 4 are missing meals every month to be able to pay their bills, this has increased from 1 in 20 last year.
  3. Nearly three-quarters report their mental health is being impacted as a result of financial worries.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We are truly facing a cost of living national emergency, created by the Tories, as workers struggle to make ends meet and face crippling further increases in energy prices. At the same time we have a zombie government doing nothing to tackle this. Their record has been to offer little more than sticking plasters and now they’re doing even less than that.

“Again Keir Starmer is leading the way with a substantial proposal to freeze the energy price cap. Having originally proposed the windfall tax on energy companies, which the Government eventually adopted, he is now looking ahead and bringing forward solutions to help workers cope with price shocks yet to come.

“Our members cannot afford another huge increase in the cost of energy, as the price cap is forecast to double by next year. They are already in dire straits having to borrow to pay bills, struggling to put food on the table and suffering stress because of financial worries.

“We desperately need an emergency budget and Labour’s energy price plan should be at the heart of it. This plan shows the clear and positive difference that a Labour Government can make for our members and the country.”

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