26 November 2021

Dragged down by the cost of living

PCS members are suffering because their pay does not cover the rises in living costs.

A DWP work coach from the north of England told us about his month so far.

“I am a single man living in a small house owned by a housing association.

“I have put gas and electric on my meter twice this month and I’m going to have to do it again. It may only be £10 each time but this month it will cost £60 if not more; it feels as if the dials on my meters have gone into freefall.

“By the 18th of the month I have no money left after I have paid all my bills.  I’m totally broke and there are 12 days left until I get paid. I have gathered some money together from different pockets and coats around the house and managed to salvage the miserly sum of £4.86 to last me 12 days.

 “This is now becoming a regular thing and even though I have scrimped and saved over the last month I again find myself in a position where I am unable to have a quality of life. It’s like Victorian Britain where those above enjoy all the luxuries life has to offer, and the hard working servants struggle to survive with a poor diet and serious mental health issues.

 “I have to juggle my money to try and make ends meet. I can’t afford good, healthy food and there are days I go without food altogether. My mental health has drastically declined to the stage I think I would be better off not being around. My doctor has referred me to the crisis team at my local hospital because he is so concerned about my mental health.

“This is what I have been dragged down to because of the inability of the government to provide a decent wage rise in line with the fact the cost of food, fuel, energy, and daily living expenses have all increased.

“How on earth are we expected to provide a professional and satisfactory service to our customers when we ourselves are struggling to make ends meet?”

Use the new PCS pensions loss calculator, which will show how much you have overpaid for your pension this month and then share your loss on social media on payday. You should also input your loss into our editable graphic, and use our e-action to share what you have lost with their MP.

Tell us about your financial struggles and email your graphic to editor@pcs.org.uk We want as many people as possible to do this on payday.