The Retail Prices Index increased to 11.7% today and the Consumer Prices Index reached 9.1%. Usdaw’s view is that RPI is a more accurate measure of inflation, particularly as it incorporates housing costs.

Usdaw recently released results from its cost of living survey showing that low-paid workers, many of them delivering essential services, are struggling to make ends meet.

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw general secretary, said: “There is a clear need for government intervention to support low paid workers, with too many struggling to make ends meet. Repeated calls for wage restraint shows that Ministers are failing to understand the scale of the challenge faced by millions of low-paid key workers.

“Increased fuel prices are leading workers to cut down on shifts, to ask for a transfer to a store closer to home or even to consider leaving work altogether. Disturbingly, one-in-four are skipping meals to pay the bills every month. That’s the people working hard to keep food on Britain’s tables who are struggling to put food on their own table.

“These are the very real experiences of essential workers who were clapped during the pandemic and now seem to be forgotten. The Government has offered only sticking plasters that go nowhere near covering rising prices and bills, so there needs to be significant increases in minimum wage rates and fundamental reforms to end insecure work.”