April 23, 2024
Economy

Exclusive: Two-Thirds Of Voters Say Economy Is Getting Worse Despite Tory Claims


Two-thirds of voters believe the UK economy is getting worse – despite the prime minister and chancellor insisting it has “turned a corner”.

The findings, in polling seen by HuffPost UK, are a major blow to Rishi Sunak’s fading hopes of turning round the Tory Party’s fortunes.

They also suggest that chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Budget earlier this month, in which he cut another 2p off National Insurance, has failed to have the positive impact Conservative bosses had hoped.

The polling, for the More in Common think tank, shows that 64% of voters believe the economy is getting worse, compared to just 23% who think it is getting better.

Even 48% of those who voted Tory at the 2019 election believe the economy is getting worse, the poll found.

Just as worryingly for the PM, barely one in five voters – 18% – say they are “better off” than they were six months ago, while nearly half – 48% – say they are worse off.

The poll of 1,966 voters also suggests that Sunak is unlikely to enjoy any political benefit from the fall in inflation.

Some 40% think inflation is still going up, even though it has fallen from 11% to 3.4% over the past year. Roughly the same number – 38% – think it is coming down, with 15% believing it has stayed the same.

Meanwhile, the majority of voters also believe that the price of food, energy and fuel will all go up over the next six months.

Luke Tryl, UK director of More in Common, said April is shaping up to be a “do-or-die month for the Conservatives”.

He said: “If the government is scratching its head and wondering why tax cuts and falling inflation aren’t working, it’s because the public still isn’t feeling the benefits.

“People are nearly three times as likely to say they feel worse off rather than better off compared to just six months ago, nearly two-thirds think the economy is getting worse and people are even narrowly more likely to say they think prices are rising rather than falling. 

“All of which makes April somewhat of a do-or-die month for the Conservatives.

“If, after we see a second round of National Insurance cuts hitting pay packets, the state pension rising by 10% and inflation dropping to close to the 2% target, people still don’t start giving the Tories some credit, then it’s hard to say they ever will.”

The findings were revealed a day after it was confirmed that the UK went into recession at the end of 2023.

That is despite the prime minister promising voters that he would grow the economy shortly after he entered No.10.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.1% between June and September last year, then by another 0.3% between September and the end of the year.



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