'We demand better': Thousands join march calling for action on skyrocketing prices

18 June 2022, 14:15 | Updated: 18 June 2022, 20:35

By Sophie Barnett

Thousands of protesters marched through central London to demand action from the Government on the rising costs of living.

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Trade union leaders and workers are calling for a "better deal" for those struggling to pay their bills, with some families using candles to cook, parents skipping meals and the elderly riding buses all day to stay warm.

In a bid to urge the Government to go further to help those who are struggling, demonstrators came together and marched through the capital.

The crowds marched from Portland Place to Parliament Square at 12pm for a rally, with speakers including Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the TUC.

Banners reading "cut war not welfare", "nurses not nukes" and "end fuel poverty, insulate homes now" were carried through Parliament Square.

The march was organised by TUC, whose research suggests workers have lost almost £20,000 since 2008 because pay has not kept pace with inflation.

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One of those in the crowd was Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner who said she was "proud" to march together to "demand better".

Ben Robinson, 25, who works for a housing charity in Brixton, south London, said he has seen heartbreaking stories of families struggling to cope.

"We've got residents who are coming into our offices, who are choosing between feeding their own kids, not themselves, their own kids, and paying rent and heating, and that is just not a choice that anyone should have to face, you know, in the fourth biggest economy in the world," he said.

Protesters march through London.
Protesters march through London. Picture: Alamy
A sign during the TUC's protest.
A sign during the TUC's protest. Picture: Alamy

He said there is a "growing disparity between the very richest in society and the other 99% of people who just don't have enough to get by".

While Frankie Brown, a 24-year-old teacher, said children in her class are going to homes where they don't have enough to eat.

Protesters march through London.
Protesters march through London. Picture: Alamy

Loud music, including the songs 9 To 5, I Need A Dollar and Money, Money, Money were played through large speakers, with those gathered singing and dancing along.

The protest comes after Ofgem, the UK's energy regulator, warned the price cap will rise by almost £1,000 in October.

It follows an increase of £693 in April 2022, meaning prices have more than doubled in just over six months.