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The cost of living crisis affects us all

Feb 22nd, 2023

Introducing Together Through This Crisis

By Matthew McGregor

The term ‘cost of living crisis’ has dominated the news agenda for many months now – to the point it’s easy to trot the expression out without giving it much thought. But you don’t have to delve far behind every soundbite and headline to see the impact of soaring prices of everyday essentials on families across the country: parents are having to choose between buying nappies or food, between new school shoes or a winter coat; pensioners are going cold and skipping meals; disabled people are struggling to heat their homes or run vital medical equipment; and a quarter of us are kept up at night worrying about keeping the roof over our heads.

That’s why, with the Government’s Spring Budget just a matter of weeks away, we’re proud that 38 Degrees have joined forces with some of the country’s biggest charities to launch Together Through This Crisis, a new initiative designed to combat the cost of living crisis.

Together Through This Crisis has been set up by Save the Children, Turn2us, Little Village, Shelter and 38 Degrees, in collaboration with organisations across the country. We’re pulling together resources and campaigns to support anyone needing help or wanting to make a difference during this cost of living crisis. Our newly launched website is a one stop shop that:

  • Supports people in England looking for advice by directing them to trusted organisations;
  • Shows those who want to give time or money where they can make an impact, and;
  • Helps everyone come together and call on the Government to step up their response to the cost of living crisis.

Ahead of the Spring Budget, together we have launched an open letter backed by charities, campaign groups, Metro Mayors and over 38,000 members of the public. The letter, addressed to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, asks them to ensure the current cost of living crisis doesn’t become our new normal. You can add your name here.

To mark the launch of the initiative this week, we commissioned leading pollsters Survation to find out how people across the country – from the most deprived areas to the most affluent – are getting by, and who they think is doing enough to help.

In addition to a national poll, Survation polled people in both the 100 most deprived and the 100 least deprived constituencies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with the majority in all groups agreeing that the UK Government’s cost of living action is insufficient.

The poll found that:

  • Nationally, 37% of people end the month with no money left over, while nearly a quarter of people (24%) run out of money for essentials either most months or most days. Only 35% of people finish the month with some money to put aside for the future.
  • Even among the 10 most affluent constituencies in the UK, 19% of people say they find themselves unable to pay for the likes of food or bills by the end of most months. That rises to 26% of people in the 10 most deprived constituencies.
  • Across the country 6% of people are trying to survive on incomes so low that they can’t pay for essentials most days – a figure that rises to 11%, more than one in ten people, in the UK’s 100 most deprived constituencies.
  • Nationally, 67% of people described the UK Government as ‘not doing enough’ to address the cost of living crisis, while 65% said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wasn’t doing enough. 69% of people in the UK’s best-off constituencies said the UK Government wasn’t doing enough (66% in the most deprived constituencies).
  • By contrast, 59% of the country said charities and voluntary organisations were doing either ‘enough’ or ‘more than enough’, while 53% said their friends and neighbours were doing either ‘enough’ or ‘more than enough’.
  • People were most likely to say that charities were doing their bit to tackle the cost of living crisis, nationally and in both the best and worst-off constituencies in the UK.
  • Friends and neighbours were seen as the second-most helpful group, with trade unions coming above Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the UK Government, and opposition political parties.

The polling paints a bleak picture of the crisis unfolding across the country. But as the Spring Statement looms, a united message is coming through loud and clear from the British public – in the most and least deprived corners of our country – Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt: do your jobs. Stop kids going hungry, end the energy bill ticking timebomb and relieve the sickening worry from families fearing the worst. In the weeks ahead, we’ll continue to join with our Together Through This Crisis partners, and the 39,000 (and counting!) of us who have already signed the open letter, to push for a Spring Statement that delivers the help so desperately needed.

Polling was conducted by Survation for Together Through This Crisis. Three separate polls were carried out to assess views in the most and least deprived constituencies and across the UK.
National poll: Fieldwork conducted: 10th – 14th February 2023; Population sampled: All residents aged 18+ living in the UK; Sample size: 2,014 respondents
Most deprived poll: Fieldwork conducted: 10th – 17 February 2023; Population sampled: residents aged 18+ living in the 100 most deprived constituencies in the UK; Sample size: 1169
Least deprived poll: Fieldwork: 10th – 17th February 2023; Population sampled: residents aged 18+ living in the 100 least deprived constituencies in the UK; Sample size: 1049;
The full list of the 100 most and least deprived constituencies which were polled for this work can be found here.

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