Company gives employees £1,500 pay rise to help with cost of living crisis
A Newcastle-based company has given every member of staff a £1,500 raise to help them cope with the cost of living crisis.
The marketing, media and PR company N21 Group said they were giving the staff the annual increase to help them cope with "significant" price rises.
A spokesperson confirmed that the pay rise is unconditional and will be given to all members of staff.
The company will also be sending staff on a trip to Prague in October.
CEO Neil Robbins said: "Our people are the heartbeat of this company and we try hard to look after them.
"We felt the cost of living crisis everyone is contending with was significant enough that the right thing to do was to help our people with an unconditional increase in their salaries to try and ease some of the burden."
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Bethanie Durham, head of content at North, one of the companies within the N21 Group, said on Twitter she "couldn't be more proud of this agency who really puts its people at the heart of it".
Several private businesses have come forward with pay rises for their staff to support them through the cost of living crisis.
Workers at Fletcher Moorland, in Stoke-on-Trent, were given a £1,000 bonus earlier in April to help with costs.
Inflation is it its highest level seen for decades in the UK, with wages failing to keep pace.
The cost of living rose by 7% in the 12 months to March, according to the latest Consumer Prices Index data from the ONS.
Much of the increase is driven by rising energy bills, which rose by 54% for the average household at the start of April after a record rise in the energy price cap.
A survey by the ONS found that four in 10 people were already struggling to pay their energy bills even before the price cap increase.
In the most deprived parts of England 57% of people reported difficulty in paying energy bills, but even in the least deprived areas of the country, 35% struggled.
Meanwhile, nearly a quarter (23%) of adults across the country reported it was very difficult or difficult to pay their usual household bills last month compared to a year ago. In November the same figure was 17%.
Energy bosses have warned the UK faces a "horrific" winter this year as people struggle to meet the rising costs, and called for a 'social tariff', to help poorer households cope.
Many household staples have seen sharp price increases, driving up the cost of families' shopping.
Margarine, cooking oils and certain meats are among the items that have seen the steepest cost increases.
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Jack Leslie, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The combination of shrinking pay packets and rising costs means that the pressure on households is building, with lower-income families set to feel the squeeze the most, and over a third of the most deprived fifth of households in England already saying it has been difficult or very difficult to pay their usual bills.
“This is set to get worse, with the estimated number of households experiencing fuel stress hitting five million this month.
“Going forwards, the government must do all it can to protect those who will be hardest hit – with support for low-income households a priority.”