Government ‘must do more’ to protect struggling families from ‘perfect storm’ cost of living crisis, says TUC

Millions of people are expected to struggle, while the basic value of Universal Credit support has gone down due to inflation

Trade unions are warning that millions of people are facing a drastic cost of living crisis in the coming months that will push many “below the breadline”.

Energy prices will rise significantly this year, while a National Insurance hike due in April and high rates of inflation are set to hit household budgets hard.

At a glance: 5 key points

  • Millions of people will suffer as a result of rising prices and stagnant wages if the Government does not offer additional support to low-income families, the TUC has warned
  • TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady called on the government to increase the “woefully inadequate” level of support available to those on low incomes 
  • Analysis by the TUC suggests the number of workers on Universal Credit has increased by more than a million since before the pandemic, as more working families have been pushed into financial hardship
  • One in eight workers surveyed told the TUC that they will struggle to afford the basic necessities in the next few months as the crisis escalates
  • The basic value of UC is now lower than at the start of the pandemic as a result of it not keeping up with inflation, according to the TUC

What’s been said?

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Millions of low-paid workers face a perfect storm this April.

“At the same time as energy prices and National Insurance contributions shoot up, Universal Credit is falling in value.

“The Government must do far more to help struggling families get through the tough times ahead. The support package announced by the Chancellor last week is woefully inadequate.

“Universal Credit urgently needs boosting and we need further action to reduce fuel costs for those battling to make ends meet.

“Oil and energy companies shouldn’t be making bumper profits while many struggle to heat their homes.

“If ministers fail to do what is necessary, more households will be pushed below the breadline.”