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Cost of Christmas dinner rises three times faster than wages

Soaring food prices mean the cost of a Christmas dinner and the trimmings have risen three times faster than wages.

Christmas dinner favourites such as turkey, pigs in blankets, carrots and roast potatoes have risen by on average 18% over the past year. Cranberry sauce and bread sauce prices have risen by 33%.

Wages, however, have risen by just 5.7% on average this year.

The price rises of festive feast items have also outpaced inflation which reached 11.1% in October, a 41-year high.

The analysis published by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) found that if wages had gone up by as much as the cost of a turkey, a worker on the average wage would have £76 a week extra in their pay packet.

Cost of cooking a Christmas dinner rises

The union body warns the cost of cooking a Christmas dinner will also be considerably more expensive this year – with electric and gas prices rising by 66% and 129% respectively, according to latest inflation data.

The TUC says ministers must urgently get pay rising to protect families from the impact of recession by increasing the minimum wage to £15 an hour, strengthening collective bargaining rights, giving fully-funded pay rises for public sector workers and increasing trade union access to workplaces.

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. And 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.”

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