The cost of food for a Christmas dinner has increased three times faster than wages this year, new research suggests.
Analysis by the TUC showed prices for traditional Christmas dinner items such as turkey, pigs in blankets, carrots and roast potatoes has risen by on average 18% over the past year, faster than inflation, while wages have risen by 5.7%.
The cost of cranberry sauce and bread sauce has risen by a third, according to the analysis.
The union organisation said that if wages had gone up as much as the cost of a turkey this Christmas, the average worker would have an extra £76 a week in their pay packet.
The TUC said that families are facing a difficult festive period as the cost of cooking will be considerably more expensive this year because of rising energy prices.
The UK Government was urged to give cost-of-living pay rises for public sector workers and to increase the minimum wage to £15 an hour.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Christmas should be a time for celebration.
“Everyone should be able to enjoy turkey and all the trimmings while they relax with their family, but soaring food and energy prices mean many families will struggle to afford the festivities.
“The fact is many workers are dreading the new year.
“Ministers can no longer ignore the crisis facing working families. The Government needs to shield families from the misery of the coming recession.
“That means raising the minimum wage to £15 an hour as soon as possible. It means a proper pay rise for our dedicated public sector workers, and it means getting wages rising across the economy for everyone.”
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