A community worker told us
: With working full time and looking after a disabled partner who has been seriously ill, life was difficult already and my one office salary didn't go very far to support us both. The few occasions we could enjoy some time out together have been cut back since the cuts and we're now just living in 'getting-by' mode. Although there are many worse off than us under this cruel government, that doesn't take away from my right to be paid fairly for the vital community work I do.
Social Care Worker: Due to the cut backs, no pay rise for the last 5 years and loss of all enhanced pay, I have now lost £6000 a year. There's not much else to say. We may now have to sell our home and consider taking on another job. Thanks Turning Point!
I'm now on a bare bones budget. Rent, food, fares, gas, electricity, water all up more than inflation. Pay standstill for five years AND hours cut. No football or pub for two years. No holiday for five years. Haven't bought a book for over a year. I rely on my library which is under threat of closure. Now I'm under threat of redundancy and the government wants to take my Disability Living Allowance away. I've worked and paid my tax and NI stamp since I left school in 1974. I'm at my wit's end.
Our wages seem to stay static while all costs continue to rise. My role in my job has become so demanding, our workloads have tripled with this welfare reform, stress has increased. Everything has increased except for pay!
Kath told us how the fall in wages has affected her: Dramatically, as the main wage earner in our house I am no longer in a position to financially support my children and grandchildren in times of need. My social life is non-existent and I never get a day off with my husband who has to work the weekends on a zero hours contract!!
“Miserable and living in dire financial need” I am married , with two school age children who depend on me. I have poor health and work as a bank support worker for a care organisation. My salary ranges from £250 to £500 per month, that forces my wife to work 24/7 doing same job and brings home around £1500. I am now at Uni in order to come out of this cash strapped nightmare and we are going through the most trying period of my life. Rent, bills, bus fares, and food costs leave us miserable and living in dire financial need.
Robert said: My workload has tripled due to cutbacks, we now have to lone work and working with high risk offenders we are more at risk from being assaulted and verbal abuse has increased 100%.
No pay increase for 5 years: The cost of living has gone up, the price of food, diesel, public transport. My wage has not increased in the last 5 years, meaning I'm having to reduce costs wherever I can, including not using fuel during cold winter months.
Michelle says: We have not had a pay rise for 3 years and we have recently lost our essential mileage allowance which in effect is a pay cut.
The cost of living has increased but wages are not rising in line, so each month you see a massive gap in your finances. The cost of petrol has also increased but the allowance has not changed for over 30 years!
Minimum wage for Carers in our Community: I have not had a pay rise in two years. My hourly rate also covers my mileage. This in effect now means I am starting to pay my own mileage being a Carer in the community so am probably only just on minimum wage.
£12 per hour after 6 years training?: I work with survivors of childhood sexual abuse which is a difficult area of work. £12 an hour for this work is insulting as I spent 6 years getting qualified. I work with a voluntary agency so we have to raise our own funding. It’s time the government supported our professional input to mental health services by being more generous in funding these organisations. Mini
Counsellor can’t make ends meet: My hours of employment have been cut back and I have never had a pay rise. This has resulted in me having to become self-employed to subsidise my salary with my contracted work within the voluntary sector. It also affected me not qualifying for a mortgage. I am a qualified and accredited counsellor and the rate of pay and associated insecurity with temporary contracts is very disheartening.
I am no different from most others that I have either not had any wage increase or at the most a 1% increase. I work for a charity so do understand to an extent that they as an employer are facing severe cut backs themselves but do question the priority being given to their employees. In general the priority for most organisations is either profit or maintaining the standards of upper management at the expense of workers. I have two children who do not understand that with prices increasing but not my salary that any luxuries have had to be cut back and basics such as food, heating and even house maintenance are now affected. There are no signs of improvement any time soon while the elite maintain and increase their profits.
Health issues increasing … I have consistently failed to meet my bill payments on a monthly basis, and food in the house and other living necessities have been cut back. I have borrowed from loan sharks to meet the shortfall and find myself in a worse situation than before, financially. In November, I failed to buy necessary medication and relapsed, was hospitalised resulting in me being sick till now.
£4000 pa income drop! A cut in my hours of work combined with the loss of working tax credit means that I now take home £4000 per year less than when this coalition government came to power. Factor in the rising prices of gas, electric etc. and I am probably £6000 worse off. My post is under threat of redundancy almost constantly so when I am not chasing grants at work I am applying for jobs at home. It is a very difficult and uncomfortable position and makes long term planning impossible.
We do a good job, we deserve a decent wage. I work supporting people with mental health problems to live in their own homes in the community. We haven’t had a pay rise for 6 years! This has greatly affected my standard of living, the cost of everything goes up but wages don't. Would politicians accept not getting a pay rise – NO!