Oct 13th, 2022
It’s time to choose: Rip It Up or turn a cost of living crisis into catastrophe
By 38 Degrees team
Liz Truss faces a stark choice – does she ask panicking parents, hungry kids, freezing pensioners, worrying first time buyers and sick people waiting to be treated, to pay for her economy-crashing, budget-busting plan? Or rip it up, and have big business and energy giants with record profits pay their fair share?
Pressure on the government to rip up their maximum chaos, “mini” budget, is mounting by the hour. Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng have driven our economy off a cliff, with the rest of us strapped in the back seat. They hold the lives of families across the country in their hands as they decide what to do next.
Two weeks ago today, 38 Degrees kicked off a huge people-powered campaign with one ask: Rip up your disaster budget and replace it with the rescue plan we need: for families, public services and our economy.
Here’s what we’ve done over the last fortnight:
Polling: the reality of a cost of living catastrophe, and a government who have made it worse
Working with Survation, 38 Degrees commissioned a huge MRP poll, a well renowned, scientific model with a sample size large enough, that allows you to get an accurate picture not only nationally, but in every constituency across the county.
We wanted to understand the reality Britain faces right now, the fears people have as a result of this government’s decisions, what should happen next and the political cost of keeping this disaster budget in place.
The results stopped all of us in our tracks. We checked once, and checked again. Survation did the same. Despite the reputation of this model – and the fact the Conservatives used it successfully in 2015 to help secure their victory – some journalists who we showed these results to simply laughed. “It’s just not believable”, they said.
But the stats don’t lie.
Across the UK:
One quarter of those questioned are scared they’ll be made homeless – rising to over 30% among those with children
53% of parents are worried they won’t be able to afford their mortgage or rent.
30% of people in full-time work fear they’ll have to use a food bank.
62% of people in full-time work are worried they won’t be able to pay their energy bills.
45% of the public are concerned their pension funds are at risk.
6 in 10 believe they and their families will be worse off in a year’s time.
Nearly three quarters (72%) believe the Government is to blame.
And the impact is especially crippling in some of our country’s hardest hit areas:
50% of people in Liverpool Walton – the highest figure of any constituency in the country – are scared they could lose their homes in the next year
49% of people in Birmingham Ladywell are worried they’ll be made homeless in the next year, with 45% of people in Birmingham Hodgehill constituency fearing needing to turn to a food bank – the second and third worst constituencies in the country, respectively.
41% of people in Wales are scared they won’t be able to pay their rent or mortgage over the next 12 months – a quarter fear they could be made homeless.
Almost one in three Londoners (32%) fear they could be forced into homelessness over the next year.
39% of people in Hull West and Hessle, 37% of people in Bradford East and Bradford West, and 36% of people in Leeds East fear they may need to turn to a food bank in the next year.
Glasgow North East has the highest number of people worried about not being able to pay their rent/mortgage (60%) and having to turn to a food bank (48%) in the whole country.
We are making the eye watering data on the impact of the cost of living catastrophe, and the public’s fears for the year ahead, available to everyone:
You can find the data for every region and constituency in the country here – click for full spreadsheet
With a cost of living crisis-turned-catastrophe that looks like that across our country, the total collapse in support for the Conservatives no longer seems as unbelievable.
This MRP poll showed if a General Election was held at the time, there would be a:
Total wipeout (no MPs left) for the Conservatives in London: Evening Standard
Total wipeout (no MPs left) for the Conservatives in Yorkshire: Yorkshire Post
Total wipeout (no MPs left) for the Conservatives in the West Midlands Birmingham Mail
Total wipeout (no MPs left) for the Conservatives in Wales: Western Morning News
Total wipeout (no MPs left) for the Conservatives in the North East: Chronicle Live
Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, former PM Boris Johnson, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, Chief Whip Wendy Morton – and the PM herself would lose their seats.
People power in action
Members of the public are coming together to pile the pressure on those who can force this government to rip up this economy-crashing budget, and replace it with the rescue plan we have needed for months.
Tens of thousands of constituents of Conservative MPs with the power to make a difference are contacting their MPs through 38 Degrees, sending messages like the below:
To @SuellaBraverman, I cannot fathom why a Conservative PM is being so fiscally irresponsible… I run a business and will benefit from the corporation tax changes and reduction in NI contributions, but this really isn’t the time for tax cuts.
No-one expected this tax cutting approach and it is counter productive to take a course of action that disproportionately benefits the better off in our country when so many others are struggling. What happened to one nation conservatism? Levelling up? Fairness?
And with some Conservative MPs speaking truth to those in power, like Conservative Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, Mel Stride warning of need to reverse plans so as not to “balance the books on the backs of the poorest people” or Stephen Hammond urging the government to ensure ” the poorest in our society are looked after”, and to limit cuts to education, health and defence rather than spending money preventing corporation tax rising”, the pressure is piling up.
77,690 people added their names to the first calls on the government to rip this up and rescue families, our public services and our economy instead.
Former PM Gordon Brown has been leading the way, warning of a “stain on the nation’s soul” should the government cut the Universal credit lifeline, despite soaring prices of food and energy. Metro Mayors from across the country joined Brown in supporting the 80,627 members of the public who have signed 38 Degrees petition here.
As a record 7 million patients are stuck on NHS waiting lists, 38 Degrees is bringing together people to demand the rescue plan our health service needs – not further cuts which will make it bleed.
And the message from the country is clear:
65% of those who voted Conservative in 2019 want the mini-budget scrapped entirely – almost identical to the figure for the general public (66%).
Six in ten people – and over half (56%) of those who voted Conservative in 2019 – want to see all of the remaining £43bn tax cuts reversed, to protect our public services.
7 in 10 (71%) support a windfall tax on oil and gas producers to pay for the energy intervention.
No one voted for this.
The choice Liz Truss faces is stark – does she ask panicking parents, hungry kids, freezing pensioners, worrying first time buyers and sick people waiting to be treated, to pay for her economy crashing, budget busting plan? Or rip it up and have big business and energy giants with record profits pay their fair share?
The message from the wider country, hundreds of thousands of people, a former Prime Minister and Metro Mayors is crystal clear. Rip it up.