Strong public support for increasing benefits in line with inflation, polling shows 

Polling released by the anti-poverty charity Z2K shows that the British public strongly back increasing benefits in line with inflation at the Autumn Statement. 

The polling, conducted by YouGov, found that, 71% of respondents with an opinion (excluding those who said ‘don’t know’) felt that this was a good idea.

A majority of previous voters for all parties backed the move, with 56% of 2019 Conservative voters who expressed an opinion supporting it. This was even higher among 2019 Labour voters, with 87% with an opinion in favour of the measure. 

Media reports suggest that the Chancellor is considering breaking with the convention of using September’s inflation figures to increase benefits, and instead using October’s lower figures. This would take an estimated £2 billion out of the pockets of low-income households. 

Anela Anwar, Chief Executive of Z2K, said: 

“It should be a basic principle of the social security system that when prices rise, so do benefits. Anything else is a stealth cut to the incomes of millions of us. 

“This polling shows that the British public understand that. Our clients, and millions of others around the country, are relying on the Chancellor doing the right thing in tomorrow’s Autumn Statement and sticking to the convention. 

“Whatever he decides, people’s ability to put food on the table, heat their homes, and keep a roof over their head shouldn’t be up for debate every year. We need a fundamental reset of our failing social security system that has led to record numbers of people visiting foodbanks, and staggering increases in destitution.” 

Notes

  • YouGov surveyed 2,140 adults between 17th – 20th November 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+). Full tables are available on www.yougov.co.uk 
  • 15% of respondents answered ‘don’t know’ when asked if raising benefits in line with inflation was a good idea, or the wrong priority at the present time. 12% of Conservative voters responded in this way, as did 13% of Labour voters.

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