// GMB union warns that any change to the RPI could leave millions of workers and pensioners out of pocket
// Proposals on the future of the RPI are expected to be announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Budget today
// The GMB has thousands of members in the retail sector
A trade union that represents thousands of workers across retail has voiced fears that changes to inflation rates could leave millions of workers and pensioners out of pocket.
Proposals on the future of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) are expected to be announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Budget today.
A joint UK Government/UK Statistics Authority consultation is expected on changes to RPI.
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The GMB said any change to the RPI, which is used by unions during pay negotiations as well as increasing pensions, could hit workers and pensioners.
It has been speculated that the methodology of the RPI would be aligned to the lower CPIH rate, a consumer prices index that takes into account the cost of housing.
“The government will be hoping attention is elsewhere because these proposals could be a hammer blow for millions of working people and pensioners,” GMB general secretary Tim Roache said.
“These changes might be presented as a technical issue but the fear is that they will end up costing millions of workers and pensioners their full, hard-earned compensation.
“Turning RPI into a zombified version of the flawed and controversial CPIH measure would drive down many people’s standard of living.
“We would support sensible reforms to RPI, as recommended by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, and it is deeply disappointing that the Government looks set to ignore that option.
“Ministers say they want to level-up the economy but we fear they are set to hit millions of workers and pensioners in their pockets instead.”
In addition to retail, the GMB has members in the security, schools, distribution, utilities, social care, the NHS, ambulance service and local government sectors.
with PA Wires