‘What about bankers’ bonuses?’: Cost of living march sees thousands demand action over rising price hikes

Thousands of people have marched in central London demanding more action from the government over the rising cost of living.

Beginning in Portland Place, they walked to Parliament Square for a rally organised by the TUC.

Banners read “end fuel poverty, insulate homes now”, “nurses not nukes” and “cut war not welfare”.

Songs including I Need A Dollar and Money Money Money were played through loud speakers.

The TUC said its research showed some workers had lost almost £20,000 since 2008 because pay has not kept pace with inflation.

Yvonne Thomas, a social care worker, told Sky News: “Sometimes you look at your gas and electric and you’re starting to cry, because you don’t know which one to top up first.

“You have to be working 50, 60 hours so you’re able to meet your bills and pay your rent. This is not acceptable in the 21st century.”

Teacher Frankie Brown, 24, said: “Every day I have got kids in my class who are going home to homes where they don’t have enough to eat.”

Matthew Searles, a paramedic with the London Ambulance Service, told Sky News he never imagined that in mid-life he would have to think about what food to buy. His current financial situation makes him feel like a student again, he added.

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‘We deserve better’

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said it was time to “raise taxes on wealth not workers”.

She added: “What about bankers’ bonuses? What about the boardroom raking it in? What about corporate profits?”

Union leaders have confirmed that next week’s rail and Tube strikes will go ahead, with disputes about pay, jobs and conditions still unresolved.

Boris Johnson has said Britain will get through the cost of living crisis and “come through on the other side strongly”.

Speaking after returning from a trip to Kyiv, the prime minister added: “I sympathise very much with everybody who is facing pressures caused by the cost of living. We will get through it.”

People gathered for a rally in Parliament Square
People gathered for a rally in Parliament Square

He also rejected a suggestion that a £21bn package announced last month by Chancellor Rishi Sunak – including a £400 discount on energy bills for all – would potentially raise inflation.

“We don’t believe that this support is inflationary,” Mr Johnson said.

“We believe it will go to people who need it. We think it is completely the right thing to do.”

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