- Economic growth without wage inflation affecting households
- Women aged 35-54 worst affected
- Voting intentions poll shows LAB 35% (+4), CON 28% (-2), UKIP 19% (0), LIB DEM 5% (-1), GREEN 7% (+1), OTHER 6% (-2)
London – Friday 19 December – A new poll of 1,180 adults by TNS UK reveals that the current state of economic growth without wage inflation is disproportionately affecting women aged between 35 and 54. This group is still primarily responsible for shopping and bills in many households across the UK and this survey demonstrates how the improvements seen to the wider economy are yet to trickle down to the household.
Women aged 35-54 report the highest levels of anxiety about paying household bills with over a third (34%) saying they are finding it harder than it was 12 months ago to meet their household budget. Only one-in-ten feels that the situation has improved, with most (56%) reporting that the situation is unchanged.
Furthermore, these women are more pessimistic than the rest of the population when it comes to the future. Fewer than one-in-five (16%) expect the British economy to be doing better than it is now in a year’s time and three-quarters (74%) expect further stagnation.
Commenting, Dr Michelle Harrison, TNS Head of Political and Social said “We are starting to see some real social changes as a result of economic growth without wage inflation. Women on average earnings or below, aged 35-54 are particularly affected. This group are taking steps to make their budgets stretch far enough, with stories of time consuming bargain hunting activities and comparing discount store prices. This group are not feeling the benefits of economic growth.”
With an election looming the coalition parties will be concerned to learn that this group are also the least positive about the government’s handling of the economy. Over a third (36%) rate the government’s handling of the economy as poor and only 21% rate it as good.
Indeed, when we look at policy priorities for this group the coalition parties will also have cause for concern. Healthcare is their number one priority (with a Public Priority Index score of 62), followed by stricter border controls and reducing unemployment (both 56). This group trust UKIP the most (30%) to implement stricter border controls and Labour the most (41%) to invest more in the Health Service and reduce unemployment (36%).
The voting intentions polling in the same survey suggests that Labour currently have an advantage over the Conservative party. Currently 35% of people plan to vote for Labour whereas 28% plan to vote for the Conservative party.
However all is still to play for – 56% of those with an opinion towards the likely outcome of the next election currently believe that no party will have an overall majority. Furthermore, 46% think the Conservatives will be the biggest party in parliament compared with 43% for Labour.
UKIP remain in third position with 19% of the electorate currently planning to vote for them in May.
At the moment women appear to be less convinced by UKIP than men; whereas 21% of men currently plan to vote for UKIP this compares to only 17% of women.
Notes to editors
TNS Omnibus interviewed a representative sample of 1,180 adults in Great Britain between 11 and 15 December 2014. All interviews were conducted as online self-completion. The data is weighted to match population totals for age, sex, social grade, working status, presence of children, 2010 voting patterns and region.
Detailed tables for this survey can be found here.
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