Working harder but getting poorer is conclusion of new report comparing wages and prices

Date: Mon 13 October 2014

A new report from public services union UNISON – ‘The Price of Everything and the Value of Wages’ – paints a stark picture of the decline and fall in living standards for workers across public services.

Years of zero or below inflation pay rises have meant that the value of wages has failed to keep pace with rising prices. ‘The Cost of Everything and the Value of Wages’ tracks how prices have risen faster than wages and the way that inflation as it is experienced by the poorly paid is often significantly higher than headline figures would suggest.

The report details how the cost of food, fuel, childcare and rent amongst other essentials has increased faster than wages.

Dave Watson, Head of Bargaining and Campaigns with UNISON Scotland said:

“It’s no coincidence that we are bringing this report out at the start of Challenge Poverty week and the day of the Poverty Alliance Conference. Wage freezes are reducing people to poverty one fifth of the children in poverty in Scotland are in households where at least one adult is working.

“It’s no use politicians in Edinburgh and London trumpeting record employment figures if those in work aren’t getting enough to live on.

“Scotland needs a pay rise that’s the message we’ll be sending out loudly all this week and most especially on Saturday’s STUC demonstration for Decent Work and Dignified Lives.”


Notes to editors:

The full UNISON Scotland report ‘The Price of Everything and the Value of Wages’ can be found here

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STUC Demonstration 18 October For A Just Scotland: Decent Work and Dignified Lives – Saturday 18 October 2014 in Glasgow. STUC links for more information

For further information:
Dave Watson, UNISON Scotland Head of Bargaining and Campaigns 07958 122 409
Stephen Low, Policy officer UNISON Scotland, 0795 685 2822.