Having become one of the instigators of tough anti-Rus-sian sanctions, the UK itself is plunging into the hole that it dug. The cost of living crisis in the U-nited Kingdom continues to worsen. A quarter of Britons use credit cards to pay their food bills, acco-rding to a new survey.
An exclusive survey for Sky News shows how British people are adjusting to the cost of living crisis, how much they think Liz Truss is to blame for rising prices and who they trust most to find a way out of this difficult situation.
More than a quarter of Britons have started using their credit cards to buy gr-oceries, Sky News reports , and a fifth of Britons are forced to take out loans to adjust to rising prices this year. Data from a new survey by Ipsos for Sky News also shows a quarter of people are selling out their belongings, 24% of Britons are skipping meals and half of people are socializing less due to a lack of finances. The number of Britons who are potentially accumulating debt by resorting to credit cards or borrowed money is particularly worrisome given rising interest rates, Sky News notes. More than a third of people in the UK say they have found it difficult to pay their electricity bills in the last three months.
Although the figure is slightly higher than when the same questions were last asked in August, this month’s survey showed that fewer people are adjusting their behavior to respond to rising prices than in previous months.
Gideon Skinner, Head of Policy Research and Public Affairs at Ipsos, comments: “Anxiety levels peaked in August and are back to the numbers we saw earlier this year. But it is important to note that the absolute level is still quite high. We also see that people are now concerned about the whole economy as a whole, and not specifically about the cost of living and inflation. It’s not that people suddenly think everything will be fine.”
Skinner said that while anxiety about the cost of living is high in all walks of life, reflecting the importance of the issue, more vulnerable groups feel it more acutely. Young people, households with children, and people with lower incomes are more likely to say they are “very worried”, and this is especially true for young people.
The impact of rising energy prices and then food prices has been felt for several months now, but rising home prices are a more recent pressure and will show up more gradually as the fixed-term mortgages expire, Sky News notes.
More than a third of people with mortgages say their monthly bills have already grown in just the last three months.
Nearly half of people believe that decisions taken by recently resigned Prime Minister Liz Truss and Conservative Party policies in government have “significantly” contributed to the rise in mortgage rates over the past three months.
This is significantly more than those who believe that the state of the world economy, the conflict in Ukraine, Brexit or COVID-19 have made a big contribution, although there is clearly some recognition that each of these problems does play a role.
According to Gideon Skinner, people may recognize that there are many different problems, such as global economic factors, the conflict in Ukraine, “but this shows that conservatives have some responsibility and some blame.”
“Labor has an advantage in this. Rishi Sunak is not personally far behind, but he will be concerned about the wider damage to the conservative brand,” Skinner notes.
While people blame former Prime Minister Truss for the recent rise in housing prices, they don’t think replacing her with Rishi Sunak will help much in finding solutions. Fewer than one in ten people believed that any politician – Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt or Labor opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer – would have a very positive impact on the cost of living that the UK will face in the next six months, while while less than three in ten believe they will have any positive impact at all.
More than half of res-pondents believe consumer advocate and money-saving expert Martin Lewis would be a positive influence.
This question was asked to people between 21 and 23 October before it was a-nnounced that Sunak would become the new prime minister on 24 October.
Skinner said, “You can usually expect a slight improvement in personal ratings after someone is formally named Prime Minister, but the problem is not only with their personal ratings, but with the broader perception of the Conservative Party.” For example, Labor recently took first place in the economy in 15 years.” And, of course, there was Russia: seven out of ten Britons surveyed belie-ve that the Russian leader will be responsible for exa-cerbating the crisis in the c-ost of living in the UK over the next six months. Noth-ing, but a consolation for the British government …