Britons and the rising cost of living

  • Research
  • 6 June 2022

Cost of Living Tracker Polling - June 2022

Cost Of Living 2.0

Westminster returns from recess for another week dominated by letter counting and Vote of No Confidence ‘will they – won’t they’ commentary. But as the British public returns to work after a weekend celebrating the Queen’s Platinum jubilee – their concerns are not focused on what Graham Brady is receiving in his inbox – hard though that may be for those of us in the Westminster bubble to believe. 

Our cost of living tracker polling shows that the exceptionally high concern about the cost of living we found at the end of April, has grown even further over the last month, despite measures from the Government announced to help. 

Top Issues June 2022

The public’s concerns aren’t hypothetical, our polling finds many families are experiencing real hardship as a result of the rise in the cost of living : one in twenty report using food bank in the past month, and almost one in five (18 per cent) telling us they’ve been eating less to deal with the rising cost of living. 

Even more have had to ‘tighten their belts’ to deal with spiralling food and energy bills – almost half (48 per cent) of the public is cutting down on electricity bills, two in five (39 per cent) Britons are shopping around more for groceries, and almost three in ten (28 per cent) are driving less to save money on fuel. 

Personal Impacts

While the government’s cost of living package has made little difference to the overall voting intention, the number of people saying enough is being done to help has risen. The number of Britons believing that ‘too little’ is being done about the cost of living fell by 12 percentage points in the last month. But that still leaves a clear majority (three in five) of Britons who  still believe that too little is being done – further action will be needed. 

Enough Being Done

The government’s £21 billion package has also not shifted who the public trust to deal with the cost of living, with only a one point shift from Labour to the Conservatives, that remains in the polls margin of error. From focus groups we know this is, in part, because of the broader erosion of trust as a result of party gate, and a sense that the Government willing to break its lockdown rules must be out of touch with the struggles of ordinary people.

 

Who Do They Trust

Finally, our data suggests that while for commentators and politicians U-turns are seen as a political kiss of death, the public quite like it when politicians change their mind on issues like the Windfall tax - with only 16 per cent of the British public thinking that politicians U-turning on big issues is a bad thing. 

U Turns
Whatever the drama in Westminster over the next few days, it won’t change the simple fact that for the public, their first, second and third concern is the rising cost of living. The Government’s move to help alleviate the crisis is a welcome first step, but it’s clear from the public’s response that it’s far from enough

Luke Tryl, UK Director, More in Common

Methodology

All results are weighted using Iterative Proportional Fitting, or 'Raking'. The results are weighted by interlocking age & gender, region, and social grade to Nationally Representative Proportions 

Fieldwork: 27th May 2022 - 1st June 2022

Interview Method: Online Survey 

Population represented: GB Adults 

Sample size: 2000 

Public First is a member of the BPC and abides by its rules. For more information, please contact the Public First polling team: polling@publicfirst.co.uk