Cost-of-living crisis Birmingham: Campaigners plan ‘biggest’ protests yet - here’s when

A demonstration will be held in Birmingham later this year as the cost-of-living crisis continues to hit families across the UK

A campaign group is planning a series of protests in the coming weeks to call on the Government to take urgent action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

The People’s Assembly said it is mobilising the “biggest, most united” voice of workers and communities from every corner of Britain for the protest.

Next year marks 10 years since the founding of the People’s Assembly by thousands of trade unionists and community campaigners. In the past decade, it has organised hundreds of marches, protests, rallies and meetings in towns and cities across England, Scotland and Wales.

Councillors will hold an emergency meeting next month

Here’s what you need to know about the protest

Where will it take place?

A demonstration will be held outside the Conservative Party’s annual conference in Birmingham in October, followed by a national event in London in November.

The group is calling for utilities to be nationalised, company profits to be cut, and “anti- union” laws to be scrapped. It follows a number of train strikes up and down the country recently with more rail strikes planned on Thursday and Saturday (20 August) this week.

What have the campaigners said in their own words?

A spokesman said: “As the Tory Government prepares to ram through even more draconian anti-union laws to prevent workers taking action to defend themselves from ‘fire and rehire’ and the cost-of-living crisis, we are all facing the fight of our lives. Millions of households are already struggling to pay for basics such as food, housing and energy. Average household energy bills are predicted rise to £4,200 a year this winter.

“The Bank of England now officially forecasts economic recession and higher inflation for most of 2023. At the same time, we are seeing our incomes fall in real terms and we are living in a time of societal collapse.

“But not everyone is struggling. Energy companies report record profits. Others, including supermarkets, transport firms and landlords are enjoying an absolute bonanza. Their profits and rents come from the pockets of ordinary people who are already struggling – even before winter comes.”

The group also called on people to support the increasing number of strikes, saying they help achieve better pay, raise political consciousness and show what is possible when workers “collectively organise”.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Consumer Prices Index hit a record high of 10.1% in July 2022 (images: Adobe/Getty Images/PA)

Supermarkets raise prices

The protest plans come as it’s revealed that supermarkets imposed price rises on almost 100 basic range groceries in July as the cost of living crisis continued to deepen – a fifth of them getting more expensive for at least the second month running.

Our sister title NationalWorld has been tracking the price of value range items at five major UK supermarkets since April, with the research revealing how the poorest shoppers are being clobbered by steep rises.

Between 4 July and 2 August, 97 price increases were recorded at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda and Aldi – almost one in six of the products gathered price information for during that time. Only 27 products came down in price during the same period.

Since April, more than half of the value range items on offer across the five supermarkets have become more expensive – 307 out of the 569 products (54%) that had prices displayed online in both April and August. The average price rise for the products that saw increases was 15.1% across the five-month period – though 19 items have risen by at least a third (33%), with two products doubling in price.

Supermarkets imposed 102 price rises between April and May, 175 between May and June, and 138 between June and July.

Asda has issued a recall on one of its products due to a possible microbiological contamination risk

What brands are included?

The research covers the value ranges at each supermarket.

At Asda these are the Smart Price and Farm Stores brands, which are currently being replaced with a new range called Just Essentials.

Aldi meanwhile has an Everyday Essentials line – although many products that are not part of this specific range have a price point similar to budget line items at other supermarkets – while Morrisons is home to Morrisons Savers.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s both ditched their value lines in recent years, replacing them with a collection of in-house brands in an effort to keep up with German rivals Aldi and Lidl.

At Tesco these include Ms Molly’s (confectionery and treats), Stockwell & Co (food cupboard essentials) and Creamfields (dairy products). Sainsbury’s meanwhile boasts Hubbard Foodstores (stock cupboard essentials), J. James and Family (fresh and frozen meat and fish) and Stamford Street (chilled products such as ready meals), among others.

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