Public more concerned than not about cuts, jobs and prices

With this morning's growth figures undewhelming at best, the latest Populus poll on public concerns makes for more grim reading for the chancellor.

With this morning’s growth figures (pdf) undewhelming at best, the latest Populus poll on public concerns, carried out from Friday-Sunday, makes for more grim reading for the chancellor. On nearly all subject areas about which they were asked, the poll (pdf) shows the public to be more concerned about the future than not – particularly about the cost of fuel and energy.

As Chart 1 below shows (view it enlarged here), 63 per cent of respondents are very concerned about gas and electricity prices, with only 1 per cent not at all concerned, while 57% are very worried about the cost of petrol, against just 7 per cent unconcerned.

Chart 1:


On the effect of cuts in the public sector, 65% are very concerned or somewhat concerned, with 29% just a little or not concerned, while 68% are very or somewhat concerned about unemployment levels, against 29% slightly or unconcerned.

Looking in more detail at the figures for cuts, the poll (pdf) shows a majority of private sector employees who are very or somewhat concerned about cuts (59%), with the figure considerably higher for public sector employess (81%). Seventy per cent of women polled are somewhat or very concerned, with 61% the figure for men. Four per cent of public sector employees are not at all concerned about the effect of cuts, against 13% in the private sector.

Sixty nine per cent are very or somewhat concerned about the state of the NHS – against 28% just a little or not at all concerned – and 50% are very or somewhat concerned about crime and anti-social behaviour in their area, versus 47% just a little or not at all concerned.

Elsewhere, the survey finds 51% think the economy is in a worse shape than it was 12 months ago (33% say the same, 9% say it’s in a better shape), with 35% expecting the economy to be in a worse shape in 12 months’ time than it is now (36% say it’ll be the same, 21% say it’ll be in a better shape).

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