One in eight workers skipping meals due to stagnant wages

The survey also found almost half of respondents are worried about meeting basic household expenses, such as food
By Alan Jones, Press Association Industrial Correspondent

STAGNANT wages are forcing one in eight workers to skip meals to make ends meet, according to a new study.

A survey of over 3,200 workers for the TUC also found almost half are worried about meeting basic household expenses, such as food, transport and energy, and a third believe the cost of living pressures are getting worse.

The poll also revealed one in six workers have left the heating off when it was cold to save on energy bills, while a similar number have pawned something in the last year because they were short of money.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "When you come home from a long day at work, you shouldn't have to worry whether you can afford to eat. Having a job should provide you with a decent life, but it's not even covering the basics for many.

"Ten years on from the crash, working families are on a financial cliff edge. Pay packets are worth less and less, but bills keep rising, and personal debt is at crisis levels.

"The government's inaction must not last. Ministers can raise wages by scrapping public sector pay restrictions, investing to create great jobs across the country, and increasing the minimum wage."

TUC research published earlier this year showed that shrinking pay packets are forcing workers to take on more personal debt.

Peter Dowd, shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: "This is yet further devastating evidence of the consequences of seven years of the Conservatives' mismanagement of our economy which has left many people struggling to afford basic necessities."

A Treasury spokesman said: "We want to support working families and help them keep more of what they earn. That's why we are cutting taxes for 30 million people and increasing the National Living Wage, worth an extra £1,400 in people's pockets."

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