Sunak Takes Cost of Living ActionAs Polling Shows Public Anger at Lack of Government Help
New polling by Omnisis for Byline Times shows cross-party hostility towards the Chancellor’s inertia over rapidly rising household costs
Boris Johnson expressed his desire yesterday for the nation to “move on” from the ‘Partygate’ saga and focus on some of the big issues facing Britain and the world, not least: the war in Ukraine, regional inequalities, and the cost of living crisis.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today therefore announced a range of new policies to relieve the financial burden on households – particularly the poorest.
However, new polling by Omnisis for Byline Times shows the scale of public discontent that he hasn’t acted sooner.
The polling, conducted on 25 May, showed that 81% of people were dissatisfied with the Government’s response to the cost of living crisis – with 49% being ‘highly dissatisfied’. This acrimony was consistent across social classes, with 78% of those in the highest social group and 80% in the lowest social group expressing dissatisfaction with the Government’s response.
Of those who voted Conservative at the 2019 General Election, 38% said they were highly dissatisfied and 34% said they were dissatisfied – showing the cross-party anger at the Government’s inaction.
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This appears to have trickled down to more general perceptions of the Conservative Party, with 77% of respondents saying that the party does not care about rising levels of poverty in Britain – a view overwhelmingly held by every age bracket, nation/region, and social class. Of those who voted Conservative in 2019, 61% believe that the party does not care about rising poverty levels – with it being expected that more than 250,000 households will “slide into destitution” next year.
Sunak has today responded by announcing a package of new measures – a £650 one-off payment for eight million low income households, a change to the £200 loan scheme for energy bills – increasing it to £400 for households without the need to pay it back – and a “pensioner cost of living payment” of £300. Six million non-means-tested disability benefit recipients will also receive a £150 payment.
The revenue to pay for these measures will be partly funded by a windfall tax of 25% on the profits of oil and gas companies – a proposal advocated by the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats for several months.
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said that Sunak’s adoption of a windfall tax showed that Labour was “winning the battle of ideas in Britain”.
Indeed, the public appears to have a notably more sympathetic view of Labour in relation to the cost of living crisis, with 55% saying that the party does care about rising poverty levels in modern Britain.
The full tables and methodology can be found here