Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

North-east residents gather to protest ‘devastating’ cost of living

People gathered in Aberdeen to listen to the speakers at today's protest. Photo: Kath Flannery/DCT Media.
People gathered in Aberdeen to listen to the speakers at today's protest. Photo: Kath Flannery/DCT Media.

North-east residents gathered in Aberdeen to protest the soaring cost of living.

Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) organised the event which took place outside Marischal College at 12.30pm on Saturday.

Despite the poor weather, union members and others met with eye-catching flags and banners to protest the rising costs of gas, electricity and fuel.

Scheduled speakers shared their own experiences with the crowd, as well as the importance of fighting against the “unacceptable” and “devastating” cost of living crisis.

The speeches gradually drew more and more people to the event, which was one of many protests taking place across the country.

Kate Ramsden, from ATUC, introduced each of the speakers during the protest. Photo: Kath Flannery/DCT Media.

Kate Ramsden, from ATUC, introduced each of the speakers and described the “critical issue” currently facing society – especially those who are poor and vulnerable.

Ofgem recently announced the energy price cap will rise by 54% in April, which will force many people to choose between eating and heating.

Those who would usually pay around £1,200 per year for energy could now pay up to £2,000.

Impact on finances and health

Simon Watson, a regional organiser from Unison, spoke about the significant impact rising living costs will have on the critical workers who have kept society going throughout the pandemic.

He said: “It’s great to see how many people have turned out in very short notice in this changeable Aberdeen weather to make a statement for union members, and the working people generally, about this crisis.

“The crisis effect is affecting everyone in our society. Covid has rightly caused great concerns about people’s mental health, but the cost of living crisis is not only hurting people’s pockets, the stress is making people’s mental health worse as well.”

Looking at Aberdeen specifically, Mr Watson highlighted that the city’s households are worse than the Scottish average for “financial problems”, and that action is needed to prevent deprivation from rising further.

Union members were among the people who gathered outside Marischal College on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Kath Flannery/DCT Media.

Rising costs affect everyone

During her speech, north-east MSP Maggie Chapman highlighted the extent of the living crisis.

“We know that we face an unprecedented cost of living crisis in Scotland, and indeed across the UK. Inflation is rising. Basic food is becoming unaffordable for many people,” she said.

“The increase in national insurance will hit the poorest the hardest, and the cruel and inhumane cut to Universal Credit will leave many more people unable to heat their homes and feed their families.

“Then, of course, we have the much talked about hikes in energy prices.”

Union members were among the crowd at today’s cost of living crisis protest. Photo: Kath Flannery/DCT Media.

Protest organiser Doug Haywood was the final speaker to address the crowd and used his time to passionately encourage the public to continue fighting to change the system.

“Use your rage. Get out there, join a union, connect in your community. Build. Act,” he said.

“Networks of mutual aid make us strong. Connections make us human. Together we are powerful. Together we can demand a lot more than we ever can as individuals.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]