Cost of Christmas dinner items risen three times faster than wages: TUC

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The cost of Christmas dinner items has risen three times faster than wages this year, according to new analysis published by the TUC today (5).

The analysis shows the cost of traditional Christmas dinner items such as turkey, pigs in blankets, carrots and roast potatoes has risen by on average 18 per cent over the past year, even faster than the consumer price index at 11.1 per cent, while wages have risen by just 5.7 per cent.

The cost of cranberry sauce and bread sauce have risen by 33 per cent – six times faster than wages.

“If wages had gone up as much as the cost of a turkey this Christmas, the average worker would have an extra £76 a week in their pay packet,” TUC said.

The union body warns families are facing a difficult festive period as the cost of cooking a Christmas dinner will be considerably more expensive this year – with electric and gas prices rising by 66 per cent and 129 per cent respectively, according to latest inflation data.

TUC is calling on government to act urgently on the cost of living to protect workers from the misery of recession.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Christmas should be a time for celebration. Everyone should be able to enjoy turkey and all the trimmings while they relax with their family. But soaring food and energy prices mean many families will struggle to afford the festivities. And the fact is many workers are dreading the new year.

“Ministers can no longer ignore the crisis facing working families. The government needs to shield families from the misery of the coming recession.

“That means raising the minimum wage to £15 an hour as soon as possible. It means a proper pay rise for our dedicated public sector workers. And it means getting wages rising across the economy for everyone.”