Unite Alarm Over Silent Crisis of Reduced Living Standards

9 Sep

Two-thirds of Unite trade union members in Scotland have had their pay cut or frozen over the last year.

The poll conducted in August was undertaken due to the growing concern over the economy’s direction. Key findings were:

  • Married, middle-aged couples living in the suburbs with their children are disproportionately affected;
  • Young, single people living in small council flats in cities are disproportionately affected; and
  • 35% of those surveyed also had their employment terms and conditions altered.

Unite Scottish Secretary, Pat Rafferty commented:

“These poll findings are extremely worrying. Not only do we have high levels of unemployment but those in work are experiencing enormous reductions in living standards. This is the largest fall since the early 1970’s.”

“It’s clear that our members are enduring a silent crisis often because they are grateful that they have a job. However, we are only going to get out of this mess through Government and businesses taking measures that fairly reward workers.”   

The latest inflation data remains at 5% (Retail Prices Index including mortgages), VAT has risen to 20% and domestic gas and electricity bills have recently risen by up to 19% (e.g. Scottish Power).


For further information please contact Andrew Brady (andrew.brady@unitetheunion.org) on 07810 157922 and Peter Welsh (peter.welsh@unitetheunion.org) on 07810 157931.


  • The poll sample size was 2600 Unite members.
  • Unite is Scotland, and the UK’s, largest trade union.
  • The Institute of Fiscal Studies consolidates the growing picture of inequality as it published figures in March 2011, showing that in the three years from 2008 to 2011 real household incomes will have fallen by 1.6 per cent, or £360 a year. This means that households are ‘likely’ to be about six per cent worse off than they might have expected had incomes risen in the ‘normal way’.
  • Scottish Power raised the price of domestic gas and electricity bills by 19% and 10% respectively from August 2011, blaming the increases on a rise in wholesale energy costs and volatility in global energy markets

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: