O’Toole: Wages struggling to keep up as cost of living soars

economy matthew o'toole cost of living

SDLP Public Finance Spokesperson Matthew O’Toole has said that the latest labour market statistics paint a bleak picture of wage growth struggling to keep up with the soaring cost of living as working families are placed under more pressure. 

Statistics released by the ONS today show a real terms fall in UK wages of 1% as inflation outpaces salary growth. In Northern Ireland, wages are struggling to keep pace with significant hikes in fuel and energy bills.

Matthew O’Toole said:

“Pressure on working families is set to increase in the coming months as wage growth struggles to keep pace with inflation. We are already seeing real terms wage decline in Britain as the cost of fuel, food and energy places immense pressure on working families. In communities across Northern Ireland, the reality for people is bleak. 

“It doesn’t have to be like this. The SDLP has published an action plan that would get direct support to every household that has been affected by hikes in fuel and energy bills. Implementing our proposals would also deliver a windfall tax on oil and gas companies worth tens of millions of pounds to people in Northern Ireland to help with the soaring cost of living. 

“The hard truth is that people here are getting a raw deal. Governments across these islands are providing direct support to households that need it. While at Stormont, £300m sits in a bank account doing absolutely nothing. It’s immoral. 

“The SDLP will continue to make this our top priority. While other parties worry about themselves and the office they’ll occupy after May 5th, we are totally focussed on putting people first.” 

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