SDLP Public Finance Spokesperson Matthew O’Toole MLA has said that record breaking drops in real terms pay is making the cost of living crisis unbearable for people and families across Northern Ireland.
Data published by the Office for National Statistics today shows that growth in regular pay fell across Britain between March and May by 2.8% as inflation continues to rise, placing unbearable pressure on hard pressed households.
The South Belfast MLA raised serious concerns about the government’s approach to public sector pay deals which is likely to heap additional pressure on nurses, teachers and other public servants.
Matthew O’Toole MLA said:
“The British Government has totally failed to address the impact of inflation on the cost of living and the very real financial crisis facing working households across these islands. Coupled with the dearth of political responsibility at Stormont since the institutions were placed into abeyance by the actions of the DUP and we are facing a very serious crisis in communities across Northern Ireland.
“New data published by the ONS today reveals that wages are plummeting at record breaking levels that will make the current crisis unbearable for people out working every hour they can to make ends meet. The spiralling cost of energy, fuel and food is driving down the value of wages and forcing far too many people to raid their own savings just to get by.
“All of this, compounded by the government’s approach to public sector pay deals which is likely to provide little respite for nurses, teachers and other key workers, will make for an incredibly difficult winter. It doesn’t have to be like this – we should be using the power of government to address the real challenges facing people across our communities.”