Workers take to London’s streets amid cost of living crisison June 18, 2022 at 5:06 pm

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Thousands of workers marched to Parliament to demand better pay, in an event organised by the TUC.

TUC march in LondonImage source, PA Media

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of London to demand action from the government on the cost of living crisis.

Workers marched to Parliament to call for better pay and conditions as part of the event organised by the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The union has called for a “decent pay rise for public sector workers” and a £15 minimum wage.

A Treasury spokesman said it had “stepped in to ease the burden”.

He added that the government was “helping eight million of the most vulnerable British families through at least £1,200 of direct payments this year – and giving every household £400 to help pay their energy bills”.

Protesters set off from Portland Place and headed towards Parliament Square at about 12:00 BST as part of the We Demand Better march.

‘Growing disparity’

The TUC said its research suggested workers have lost almost £20,000 since 2008 because pay has not kept pace with inflation.

Ben Robinson, 25, who works for a housing charity in Brixton, south London, was at the protest.

He said: “We’ve got residents who are coming into our offices who are choosing between feeding their own kids, not themselves, their own kids, and paying rent and heating, and that is just not a choice that anyone should have to face, you know, in the fourth biggest economy in the world.

“I don’t think there’s enough recognition in the government, actually, how bad things are going to be and really are for people, real people who don’t have enough money.

“And the growing disparity between the very richest in society and the other 99% of people who just don’t have enough to get by, so hopefully this outlines that, but who knows?”

NASUWT members marching London

Image source, NASUWT

Members of NASUWT, the Teachers’ Union, were among those who attended the march and called for the profession to receive a “pay uplift and an urgent rebalancing of workload”.

The union said that with essential living expenses surging ahead of wages, the value of teachers’ pay had fallen by 19% over the last 12 years.

NASUWT members marching London

Image source, NASUWT

The Department for Education (DfE) said it was “incredibly grateful for the continued efforts of teachers and school leaders in supporting pupils” and work was ongoing to “deliver pay increases and pay awards for new and experienced teachers”.

She added: “We have also invested £760,000 in a new mental health support scheme for school leaders, and launched the Education Staff Wellbeing Charter which commits to reducing unnecessary teacher workload, championing flexible working and improving access to wellbeing resources.”

A Treasury spokesman added: “As part of our £37bn support package we’re also saving the typical employee over £330 a year through the imminent National Insurance tax cut, are allowing Universal Credit claimants to keep £1,000 more of what they earn and have made the biggest cut to all fuel duty rates ever.”

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