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by Joseph Anderson
30 August 2022
Vast majority believe governments doing too little to help cost-of-living crisis

Vast majority believe governments doing too little to help cost-of-living crisis

New research shows the overwhelming majority of Brits feel the UK and Scottish Governments have done too little to help with the cost-of-living crisis.

Polling produced by the David Hume Institute and the Diffley Partnership on economic attitudes and behaviours has revealed 80 per cent of people are cutting down on non-essential items and leisure, with 89 per cent believing support from the UK Government has been sufficient, and 73 per cent thinking the same about the Scottish Government’s efforts.

The research shows particular hostility towards energy companies: 95 per cent of people think they have done too little to help people cope with rising prices, and a fifth of people think that the single biggest cause of soaring inflation is companies maximising their profits. This is only just behind the war in Ukraine at 21 per cent, and ahead of pandemic-related supply chain issues at 12 per cent.

Rising prices, in the absence of further support, have seen large numbers of people pushed into greater vulnerability and riskier behaviours. Two in five have depleted their savings, and over a third (35 per cent) have taken on debt and/or borrowed money. The latter figure rises to 44 per cent in the most deprived fifth of neighbourhoods, 20 percentage points higher than in the most affluent. 

Mark Diffley, founder and director of Diffley Partnership, said: “It is unusual to see the public mood being so unambiguously bleak. Financial pressures and anxiety at soaring prices are widespread across society, but particularly acute for those who are already most vulnerable.

“Across all demographic groups, and especially in more deprived communities, a clear majority are saying that the response to date from the UK and Scottish governments alike are simply not enough.”

Susan Murray, director of the David Hume Institute, added: “Since we started this survey, sadly most people have seen their financial situation deteriorate. With three in ten people now losing sleep due to financial stress, and over a quarter skipping or cutting meals, there are obvious consequences for the economy, labour market and people’s health.

“Eighty per cent of people have already cut down on non-essentials and leisure, and over a fifth have taken on or tried to take on more work, but it’s still not enough. Despite their best efforts, two-thirds of people say their money simply isn’t going far enough, and most expect things to get considerably worse before they get better. We need a concerted package of targeted support, and we need it now.”

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