A cold, hungry or homeless Christmas?

Shock new survey of NI women workers reveals:

Susan Fitzgerald, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer

Shock new survey of Northern Ireland women workers reveals:        

  • Nearly 40% will cut back on food and heating;
  • Over half worried about keeping roof over their head;
  • Unite says findings must act as political wake-up call.

A survey of over 400 women workers in Northern Ireland carried out by trade union Unite during the third week of October has revealed that a majority are struggling to cope with the cost living crisis.  The survey was conducted in advance of the ‘Women Demand Better’ protest on 29 October being organised, Belfast City Hall, 12pm 29th October.

Among the shock findings, the survey showed that:

  • A staggering 99% are ‘worried’ or ‘extremely worried’ about the cost of living crisis;
  • 55% are worried about keeping a roof over their heads, in the face of insufficient public housing combined with rising rents and mortgage repayment;
  • Over the next six months, nearly 40% will have to cut back on essentials such as food and heat, while a further 15% say they will be seriously struggling to pay for essentials and 5% will have to borrow to pay for essentials;
  • 72% say that cost of living pressures are negatively impacting their mental health while 55% say that cost of living pressures are negatively impacting their physical health.

Commenting on the findings, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Susan Fitzgerald said:

“As Northern Ireland prepares to mark 25 years of devolved government, women workers have nothing to celebrate. Instead working-class families are approaching this winter with fear. Our survey findings show that – as in previous crises – it is women who are bearing the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis, with many concerned about the prospect of a cold, hungry or homeless Christmas.

“It should also be remembered that, bad as these findings are, Unite surveyed women in work.  A similar survey of women dependent on benefits would show up even more stark results, research has also highlighted the particular pressures on marginalised groups including the LGBTQI+ community, who are at particular risk of homelessness.

“These findings must act as a political wake-up call to politicians from across the spectrum here and in Westminster.  And to make sure they get this message, we are calling on workers & young people of all genders to join our protest in Belfast on Saturday 29 October to say ‘Women Demand Better’”, Ms Fitzgerald concluded.

This entry was posted in Northern Ireland news, Unite Equalities and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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