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What is the Enough is Enough campaign? The new movement trying to fight the rising cost of living in the UK.
It's being called the 'summer of discontent', as people around the UK show their frustration at the rising cost of living with train strikes (opens in new tab), protests and petitions. While the government has announced a cost of living support package (opens in new tab) - with millions of families having already received their first cost of living payment (opens in new tab) - some members are calling on the government to do more.
Now, a new campaign has been set up to try and hold those profiting from the crisis to account. The Enough is Enough campaign has already received thousands of signatures - so many that the website briefly crashed - with support from trade unions and MPs alike. But exactly what is the Enough is Enough campaign and should you be getting involved?
What is the Enough is Enough campaign?
Enough is Enough is a campaign that aims to fight the cost of living crisis and "push back against the misery forced on millions by rising bills, low wages, food poverty, shoddy housing – and a society run only for a wealthy elite."
The campaign has set out five demands: a real pay rise, slashed energy bills, an end to food poverty, decent homes for all, and taxing the rich. It aims to meet these demands by holding rallies across the UK, forming community groups, organising picket line solidarity and taking action against the companies and individuals who are profiting from the cost of living crisis. The campaign also wants to cancel the October energy price cap, introduce universal free school meals, and restore the £20-per-week Universal Credit supplement.
Enough is enough. It's time to turn anger into action.Join the campaign to fight the cost-of-living crisis.https://t.co/1SeHcIXdMr pic.twitter.com/sVFpFpXMe1August 8, 2022
Enough is Enough was set up on 8 August by trade unions and community organisations, and is supported some big names such as RMT Union general secretary Mick Lynch and MP Zarah Sultana. 100,000 people joined the campaign within the first 24 hours of its launch, causing the website to temporarily crash as people rushed to sign up.
Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) - the same union that has voted for a Royal Mail strike (opens in new tab) - told ITV News (opens in new tab) that 'the country is on its knees'.
He said: "More food banks than McDonalds, millions of people unable to pay bills, millions more taking second jobs to even survive. All of this while the rich get richer. This campaign is about rebalancing the economy and winning back dignity for working class people.
"It’s time for trade unions, community groups and workers to come together like we haven't seen in decades – because that is the scale of this crisis."
A spokesperson for the treasury told the Evening Standard (opens in new tab) "We know that rising prices caused by global challenges are affecting how far people’s incomes go and we have continually taken action to help households by phasing in £37 billion worth of support throughout the year."
How to join the Enough is Enough campaign
Supporters can sign up to join the Enough is Enough campaign via its website (opens in new tab). Those who choose to sign up will be sent details of rallies, community groups and picket lines happening in their area.
The Enough is Enough website says "It's time to turn anger into action," and is supported by the CWU union, which represents postal, telecoms, financial services and tech workers, the community union ACORN, and socialist magazine Tribune. Ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also shown his support for the campaign on Twitter (opens in new tab).
Mick Lynch has urged the public to join the campaign, saying "It’s no good just being p***ed off. You’ve got to say, I’m going to turn that into an organisation with a set of demands and a way to fight for them."
A post shared by Enough is Enough (@eiecampaign) (opens in new tab)
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Who is Mick Lynch?
Mick Lynch is the general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) and has been the face of the UK's ongoing rail strikes.
Lynch left school at 16 and qualified as an electrician, before moving into construction. After joining a trade union he found himself 'blacklisted' from the trade, and began working for Eurostar in 1993 - at which point he became active in the RMT.
The 60-year-old has held his post as general secretary since May 2021, and has made his demands for better pay and working conditions for rail workers clear in his many TV news interviews over the past few weeks.
"Our workers weren't furloughed... their reward for that is to have their conditions ripped up, have their jobs threatened"Mick Lynch, the general secretary of the RMT, speaks to #Newsnight's Kirsty Wark about the upcoming rail strikes pic.twitter.com/hYrgnpkYeSJune 20, 2022
Who is Zara Sultana?
Zarah Sultana in a Labour Party MP and has represented Coventry South since 2019. She is also co-chair of the Socialist Campaign Group, a grouping of left-wing Labour MPs responsible for the launch of the campaign that saw Jeremy Corbyn become party leader in 2015.
Sultana joined the Labour Party in 2011, whilst doing her A-levels, following the coalition government's decision to increase university tuition fees. She went on to study International Relations and Economics at the University of Birmingham.
Sultana has said in support of the Enough is Enough campaign "Things can't go on like this: record profits for big businesses, record number of billionaires, record wealth for the top 10%. But life is getting harder for everyone else."
A post shared by Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultanamp) (opens in new tab)
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What is the cost of living crisis?
The prices of daily essentials are going up, but wages are not increasing at the same rate, meaning many households are struggling to make ends meet.
In response to this, the Bank of England has raised interest rates from 1.25% to 1.75% - the largest increase for 27 years - in attempt to slow the rate at which prices are rising and encourage people to spend less.
However, this means that not only are the prices of goods higher before they begin to decrease, consumers will now also be spending more on their mortgages and loans, while they will receive less return on their savings.
The UK is not the only country where interest rates have been raised. The European Central Bank has raised rates for the first time in more than 11 years, while the US, Brazil, Canada, India, Australia and Switzerland have increased rates too.
To help with the crisis, ex-Chancellor and current Tory leadership contender Rishi Sunak announced a number of measures to help households during his time in office. These include a £400 energy rebate, a £650 one-off payment (opens in new tab) to low-income households, £300 for those over the state pension age and £150 for those on disability benefits.
Why is there a cost of living crisis?
One of the main reasons for high inflation is high oil and gas prices. This has led to energy prices going up (opens in new tab) and gas bills increasing (opens in new tab) for homeowners across the UK.
During Covid lockdowns, the price of oil crashed due to the drop in its use, but as the world opened up again the price began to soar along with demand. Suppliers struggled to cope with this after reducing production during Covid, which has pushed up prices.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine (opens in new tab) is another factor, as not only is Russia one of the largest oil exporters, but Ukraine plays an important part in the supply of grain, which has contributed to rising food prices (opens in new tab). Cupboard favourites like Lurpak butter have become more expensive (opens in new tab), whilst pasta prices are up 50% (opens in new tab).
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