Inflation drop is cold comfort for struggling families, says UNISON

by - 13th December 2011, 11.26 BST

UNISON today called on the government to dare to change direction, to relieve stress on families struggling to cope with inflation this Christmas.  Despite the small drop in inflation, the union is warning the government¹s failed fiscal policies are hampering recovery, as many people are still too worried about their jobs to spend in the hig street.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: “The very small drop in inflation today is cold comfort for the millions of families struggling this Christmas. Christmas should be a happy time, but for many people the stress of finding, or keeping a job, means the financial pressures are enormous.  When you add in the cost of food and fuel, there is not a lot of spare money to spend in the high street.

“Cameron only has to look at the sale signs going up in shops before Christmas, to see signs that his financial policies are not working. The government needs to look at ways of stimulating the economy and encouraging consumer confidence, instead of dishing up more misery over Christmas.

“Public service workers have been hard hit by swingeing job cuts and a pay freeze that is set for years to come.  Add in the additional cost that government ministers are asking workers to pay into their pensions, and contrast with Christmas bonuses in the City, and it is obvious that we are not all in this together.”

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Last month’s drop in inflation offers some respite for people over the festive period. But with pay growth under two per cent, people are still getting poorer and millions of families are facing a very tough Christmas this year.

“It will take many more months of falling inflation, and far higher wage increases, before this long and painful period of real terms pay cuts comes to an end.”