One in five workers in key sectors of the economy have had to reduce their spending during the pandemic, new research suggests.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) said its study indicated that a fifth of key staff cut back their spending at the end of the week or month because they faced running out of money, or already had.

Around one in nine respondents told the TUC their levels of debt had increased since the pandemic began, one in 17 had taken on a second job and a third had used food banks.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Our shop workers, care assistants and school support staff have worked tirelessly to keep this country going through the pandemic.

“The very least they deserve in return for their hard work is a decent standard of living for their families.

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“But many are struggling just to pay their basic bills and put food on the table, and one in five are facing the trauma of running out of money before payday.

“Ministers must use the autumn spending review to give all of our key workers the pay rise they so badly need.

“We must get the minimum wage up to £10 an hour to stop millions of working people from living in poverty.”

The report was based on a survey of 2,134 workers in Wales and England.

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