Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. Economy
6 January 2022

Exclusive: over three-quarters of British voters notice their food shops are pricier

The cost-of-living crisis bites as polling for the New Statesman by Redfield & Wilton Strategies reveals the overwhelming experience of inflation among Britons.

By Anoosh Chakelian

Three-quarters (76 per cent) of British voters say the cost of goods in their regular food shop has increased over recent months, as revealed by exclusive polling for the New Statesman by Redfield & Wilton Strategies*.

Inflation rose 5.1 per cent in the 12 months to November 2021. Energy bills are set to soar in April, when a new 1.25 per cent rise in National Insurance will also hit taxpayers.

[See also: The cost-of-living crisis will define 2022 – Labour needs answers now]

When asked how their financial situation had changed in the last two years, just 13 per cent replied that it had improved, compared with 41 per cent who said it had worsened (44 per cent said nothing had changed, and 2 per cent didn’t know).

The cost-of-living crisis is biting, putting political pressure on the government. A row among Tory MPs is rumbling over Boris Johnson’s reluctance to scrap VAT on energy bills – a promise he made during the EU referendum campaign.

[See also: Exclusive polling shows key opportunity for Labour on the economy]

To add to the Prime Minister’s woes, voters are now associating the economy with their own circumstances (their jobs and shop prices) rather than the need to reduce government debt – the “balancing the books” rhetoric used by successive Conservative governments to justify cuts after the recession.

Chart by Ben Walker

Content from our partners
What is the point of inheritance tax?
How to win the next election? It's the data, stupid
Businesses must unlock the regional growth agenda

This is a shift in attitude that should favour the Labour Party, which voters trust more with the cost of living than the Conservatives. Whether Keir Starmer, who has tried again to outline Labour’s vision this week, benefits from this is yet to be seen.

*1,500 eligible voters in Great Britain were polled. Fieldwork was conducted on 8 December 2021.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday - from the New Statesman. The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.