Cost of Living: Protesters demand action on skyrocketing prices

Cost of Living: Protesters demand action on skyrocketing prices

Trade union leaders, frontline workers and community organizations joined the protest in London, demanding a “better deal” for workers struggling to cope. 

The TUC  organized hundreds of buses to transport protestors from around the UK to London and demanded “a reasonable pay boost for public-sector employees” and a £15 minimum wage.  

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been blasted for his slow response to the rising cost of living crisis, with inflation rising in the United Kingdom and across Europe as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has reduced supply of energy and food essentials, and pushed up energy bills for households.  

Prior to the conflict, prices were already growing because to the worldwide economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in increased consumer demand.  

Demonstrators of the protest carried banners with messages such as “Cut war not welfare.” According to videos posted on social media, they booed when they passed by 10 Downing Street. 

According to the TUC, employees have effectively lost about £20,000 since 2008 due to pay not keeping pace with inflation. 

Are there any other protests taking place? 

Demonstrations are also taking place in Ireland, with the Cost-of-Living Coalition having marches organised in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Sligo. 

People who couldn’t make the march but still wanted to raise concern on the matter spoke out through social media.  

An A&E nurse took to Twitter to explain how she couldn’t afford to make the marc:

@Nurseborisbash wrote: “I’ve worked in emergency nursing for 30 years. During that time, I’ve forgotten how many hearts I’ve restarted, how many hands I’ve held as diagnosis is given, yet as a widowed single parent I can’t afford the train fare to join the march.” 

There were plenty of recognizable faces at the march too, with Labour MPs and local politicians such as Diane Abbott and deputy leader Angela Rayner taking part.  

What’s being done in response of the Cost-of-Living Crisis? 

After months of pressure for the government to do more to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, Rishi Sunak unveiled a £15 billion support package. 

Mr Sunak told MPs: “I know they are worried; I know people are struggling,” and added: “[the government] will not sit idly by while there is a risk that some in our country might be set so far back they might never recover”. 

Homes on benefits will receive a one-off targeted £650 payment that will be paid in two instalments in July and in the autumn.  

Also, the previously announced £200 energy bills loan due to be paid out in October will now become a one-off £400 energy bill discount, paid out to every household in the UK in October regardless of their financial status. 

You can calculate your Energy Bills here.

This has drawn quite a bit of criticism however, with many damning the Government for not doing enough.