LONDON, October 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Commenting on the latest rise in inflation figures, with the benchmark inflation rate for September standing at 5.2%, Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite said: "Much of the blame for this latest jump in the cost of living sits firmly at the door of the greedy energy companies. At the end of the summer consumers were knocked sideways by ransom demand fuel bills dropping through their letter boxes.

"It is simply not right that fuel companies are sitting on soaraway profits while households wrestle with a desperate choice of whether to heat or eat. Energy windfall profits should be redirected to give six million homes an immediate GBP250 each this winter to pay for essentials like heating. The oil and energy companies would not even notice it was missing.

"But we also need action now to address the poverty pay of millions of workers in this country, including public sector workers who are facing a wage cut this year. Putting some money in their pockets, in the form of a living wage rise, would benefit the entire economy and ease the burden for those who strive to keep our schools, hospitals and essential services running.

"This is where we need the government to continue to show decisive leadership and social fairness. It should abandon efforts to hold down public sector pay and concentrate instead on tackling the real drivers of inflation, and top of that list must be the greedy oil and fuel companies."

For further information call Pauline Doyle on +44-(0)7976-832-861