Inflation figures put spotlight on government's stealth cut on pensions

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date: 16 August 2011

embargo: For immediate release

Commenting on the latest inflation figures published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which show that RPI inflation stayed at 5 per cent and CPI increased to 4.4 per cent in July, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'The cost of living is rising twice as fast as wages, and with business confidence low the wages gap is set to continue for some time.

'While rail commuters despair at the prospect of 8 per cent fare rises next January, savers will be fuming at the government's stealth cut on pensions as a result of the switch to the lower CPI inflation measure - which could slash the value of their pension by 15 per cent over the next 20 years.

'The government's selective switch from RPI to CPI means higher costs for students and commuters, and less in return for pension savers, taxpayers and job seekers.

'As people struggle through the toughest squeeze in living standards for decades, it says a lot about the government's priorities that the only help the Chancellor is considering is a tax cut for the super-rich.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- The latest inflation figures are available at www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/cpi0811.pdf

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Congress 2011 will be held at the TUC's Congress House in central London this year. The event runs over three days, from Monday 12 to Wednesday 14 September. Free media passes can be obtained by visiting www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-19831-f0.cfm and filling in the online form. All applications for media passes must be received no later than noon on Monday 5 September. Any applications received after then will be processed when possible and may be subject to delay. Late applications will be subject to a £50 administration fee. Wi-fi will be available free of charge throughout the venue.

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: [email protected]

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