These figures are a big blow to millions of workers who need their pay packets to catch up with the rising cost of living.
Much of this rise is a direct result of government policy. The trebling of tuition fees has dealt another blow to young people already struggling for work.
People have been getting poorer for nearly three years now and their incomes are being squeezed even tighter. It could take many years to undo the damage caused by our living standards crunch.
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Cold, quiet and calm