Epunchng - Most read newspaper in Nigeria 13th-September-2017 - Page 40

40 WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2017 international business UK cost-of-living crisis, inflation increase T hE squeeze on Britain’s living standards worsened last month after the increased cost of importing fuel, clothes and food pushed inflation back up to 2.9 per cent, from 2.6 per cent in July. According to The Guardian, women’s clothes were among the items to jump in price in August as the low value of the pound earlier this year pushed up the prices in sectors heavily dependent on imported goods. Labour and the Liberal Democrats said the spike in prices, equalling a four-year high in the consumer price index (CPI) reached in May this year, put pressure on Theresa May to immediately scrap the one per cent pay cap for all public sector workers. May’s government announced on Tuesday that it will give police officers a two per cent pay rise and prison staff 1.7 per cent this year, and lift the one per cent cap for all public sector pay from next year. Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said a newly qualified nurse faced a real- terms pay cut of £412 this year under the cap with inflation at around three per cent, while newly qualified teachers face a £435 shortfall. “Rising inflation shows how urgent it is to address the sense of unfairness around the pay cap,” he said. “With these numbers our nurses, teachers and other public sector workers will experience a two per cent pay cut in the coming year. This will only aggravate the recruitment and retention crisis we are facing.” Speaking from the TUC’s annual conference in Liverpool, its general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “The government needs to get a grip and get pay rising across the economy. 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