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A fifth of workers ‘skipping meals to make ends meet’

Almost a third wouldn’t be able to pay an unexpected £500 bill

A fifth (20%) of UK workers are skipping meals to make ends meet, a poll from the TUC shows.

This is up from one in eight (13%) workers in 2017.

The survey also reveals 19% of workers went without heating when it was cold, 10% could not pay their rent or mortgage on time and 20% had pawned or sold something because they were short of money.

When asked how they would deal with an unexpected £500 bill, 30% of workers said they wouldn’t be able to pay – up from 24% in 2017.

Of those that could pay, one in four (24%) said they would have to go into debt or sell something.

A quarter of respondents reported running out of money at the end of most weeks or months, while a further 16% have to cut down or stop spending many times a year.

Two-fifths of those polled (41%) said that pay not keeping up with living costs is among their biggest concerns at work.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady argued that after a decade of low pay, rising insecurity and public spending cuts, millions of working people are struggling to afford even the basics.

“Any responsible Prime Minister would be urgently dealing with Britain’s cost of living crisis. But instead Boris Johnson is threatening to make things much worse by forcing through a no-deal Brexit. He must stop playing games with people’s livelihoods and rule out no deal once and for all,” she said.