Unite poll reveals voters’ verdict on Sunak’s mini-budget

Brits believe the Chancellor's interventions should have been more targeted - and there is real anger over some policy decisions.


The public remain unconvinced by the government’s latest measures to support workers, as ministers phase out the Jobs Retention Scheme.

A new Survation poll commissioned by Unite the Union after Rishi Sunak’s mini-budget last week shows a country divided.

Voters believe the Job Retention Bonus – the £1,000 going to employers for each furloughed worker who is kept on – should be targeted towards those industries who need it the most. More people (48%) believe that the Job Retention Bonus should be targeted at industries most in need of support than those who think it should apply to all (40%).

And 43% believe that the Job Retention Bonus doesn’t go far enough to safeguard jobs, to 40% who do.

When it comes to the other elements of Sunak’s interventions, half of those polled say the £10 ‘meal deal’ voucher scheme is a ‘waste of taxpayers’ money’.

And 60% say the Johnson government is wrong to remove free parking for NHS hospital staff as lockdown ends.

Unite has called for the Chancellor to think again and put in place measures that will be far more effective in saving jobs and restoring public confidence.

As Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “This poll confirms what we have been saying all along to ministers: the economy will not recover unless workers feel confident that they will keep their jobs. Up and down the country, redundancy notices are raining down on workers.  People are really fearful that decent jobs and industries will collapse as the jobs retention scheme comes to an end over the summer.

“What is urgently needed is intelligent, directed support for strategically vital sectors because these are the industries that will power us out of this recession, and give the public the confidence to spend again.”

Workers in the sectors under siege – aviation, aerospace, automotive and hospitality – desperately want measures which show that the government has grasped the scale of the radical action needed to stop this recession running into a depression.

People are hungry for jobs and income security – they need more substance than the meal deal. Our survey shows the country is nervous, sceptical and divided. It is in time of crisis that our leaders need to rise to the occasion and give our people the confidence they deserve.  

Before the Commons stops for recess and MPs take a break, they must bring forward the support needed to head off the summer job loss tsunami that voters dread.

Survation interviewed 2,022 people online, fieldwork 10th – 12th July 2020. Full data and tables can be found here.

Tony Burke is Assistant General Secretary at Unite.

Image credit: Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street.

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