The last of the Big Six energy providers has confirmed the smallest winter price hike.
Workers 'borrowing £327 per month'
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said the Government's policies were 'destroying livelihoods and eroding wages'
Workers are borrowing more than £300 a month as they plunge into "punishing levels of debt", the country's biggest union has revealed.
Research by Unite showed that the average amount workers were borrowing to get through the month had risen sharply from £127 to £327 pounds since March.
A study of 22,000 adults showed that almost half were borrowing money every month, up by 12% since spring.
Four out of five said they had cut back on spending because of money worries.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said at the TUC Congress in Brighton: "These figures are yet another damning indictment on this Government's failed anti-growth policies. Ever more people are being plunged into punishing levels of debt as they struggle to make ends meet.
"This is the harsh reality for increasing numbers of working people in Osborne and Cameron's heartless Britain, with the real pain still to come as this Government seeks more and more cuts.
"The Con-Dems have set us on a path to poverty that is destroying livelihoods and eroding wages. This clueless Government gives us policies to put extensions on houses when what people desperately need are policies to keep a roof over their heads and put food on their tables."
Mr McCluskey called for a £1-an-hour increase in the minimum wage to boost workers' spending power.
Dave Prentis, leader of Unison, said "legalised loan sharks" were operating from high streets across the country, offering pay-day loans with interest rates reaching 4,000%.
"It's an industry that is now worth £2 billion a year, with six out of 10 using the money to pay their household bills or buy essentials, and trapping families in a downward spiral of debt and despair."
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- Planned rise in rail fares to be reduced
- Increase in university places
- Cancellation of 2p fuel duty rise
- Cap on business rates
- Tax breaks for married couples
- Free school meals for infant school children
- Loans to "unblock" housebuilding in some cities