New poll: Only 14% trust Government to solve cost of living crisis

Two thirds of people do not have confidence in national politicians to address the mounting cost of living crisis, with 68% arguing more power should be given to local communities to tackle the issue themselves.

79% of those surveyed said cost of living was one of the top three most important issues facing them at present, with 69% already starting to see the impact of rising prices in their local area. Just 14% are confident the Government can address the crisis, 66% were unconfident while the remaining 20% were neutral or undecided.

The new polling from independent think tank New Local finds a chronic lack of faith in politicians across a range of major issues, including Levelling Up (54% were unconfident in politicians to deliver this; 17% were confident) and access to health services (49% were unconfident; 25% confident).

The polling found strong support for locally led solutions and devolution of power.

  • 79% said Westminster and Whitehall were making decisions “about people and places they know little about”
  • 73% said national politicians should transfer more power to local areas
  • 77% said to Level Up, the Government they should give communities more power to decide what investment and support they need
  • 79% supported sufficient funding for councils to in turn invest in communities

New Local is part of a national campaign (We’re Right Here) that is calling for new legislation to put power and influence in the hands of communities. A Community Power Act would devolve power not only to councils, but to local people to have a say over their spaces, public services and local investment. Polling found that 71% of respondents would support these legal rights for communities, while 73% would back a politician who committed to transferring power locally.

There are nationwide examples of communities who are addressing the cost-of-living crisis themselves, including:

  • The Fur Clemt community supermarket in Wigan, set up by a local mother and daughter with financial backing of the council. It offers food at a heavily discounted rate and allows shoppers to select their own produce.
  • Community group Ambition Lawrence Weston in Bristol, which successfully campaigned to bring in a low-cost supermarket to the area, and has raised money to build the tallest wind turbine in England, with profits directed to community members who have difficulty paying energy bills.  

Adam Lent, Chief Executive, New Local, says:

“At a time when issues like cost of living and regional inequality are reaching a crisis point, trust in politicians to deliver solutions is at a catastrophic low. Meanwhile, people themselves want greater control over how to solve these problems as they appear in their own households and communities.

“Rather than struggle for half-baked, top-down solutions, the Government should trust and resource communities to tackle the issues that are affecting them directly at a local level. That would really be giving back control.” 

“That’s why we’re calling for a Community Power Act, that would end the top-down, ineffective system that is not delivering the answers people need.”

Notes to Editors

  • The polling was conducted by Britain Thinks on a nationally representative sample of 2,164 adults between 8th and 10th April 2022. It was commissioned by New Local, an independent think tank and network of councils.
  • Graphs related to the findings mentioned above can be found here. Full data sets are available on request.

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