Inflation and inequality briefing

Please view the attached a UNISON  briefing on inflation and inequality.

UNISON’s low paid members know only too well how much prices are soaring, given they are among those unfairly hit hardest by the cost of living crisis. This briefing covers inflation, the differences between ways to measure it, and why it is vital we speak up on behalf of those members who face far higher inflation than the headline rates; in rocketing heating, food and other bills.

This all matters in pay negotiations at the best of times, even more so in this crisis. All our members deserve a decent pay increase, not real terms pay cuts as we face the biggest price rises in 40 years.


Inflation impacts more on those on the lowest incomes, with food and very high heating costs a much higher proportion of their budgets

RPI is a better indicator of the costs facing workers than CPI (but it is due to be scrapped in 2030 in favour of CPIH)

Soaring energy bills are a major factor in the cost of living crisis, causing rising fuel poverty – heat or eat

People on benefits, disabled people & low paid workers, many of whom are women, are struggling to make ends meet, with food bank use rising & more need than ever for universal free school meals

Pay rises and higher benefits are key

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