Public issues damning verdict on government performance over last decade

2023-01-01 17:40:00 +0000

A new report into the 'state of Britain' has revealed significant levels of disapproval with the current and former governments and a desire to see major changes of policy.

The research by Compassion in Politics found that three in five (57%) think austerity and Brexit were failures. Three in four (72%) say the government’s management of the NHS has been a failure and 53% say the same for education reform. 

Just 16% think austerity was a success and only 1 in 4 (24%) give a positive review of Brexit. 

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Asked to grade the legacy of the last twelve years of Conservative rule, two in five (42%) said it had failed and one-third rated it at either a Grade C or D.

One in five (19%) of Conservative voters rated their own party a “Failure” for its time in government. 

The report also revealed the extent to which families have struggled through Christmas during the cost-of-living crisis. 

One in ten (10%) have not been able to buy presents and two in five (42%) have used their heating less than last year - even during the recent cold snap. 6% of people surveyed have not used their heating at all despite the fact temperatures have routinely dropped below freezing.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the level of negativity surrounding the performance of recent governments, the public are open to the introduction of transformative policy ideas. 

Asked which policy they would most like to see introduced in 2023, one in four (25%) chose the right to food, housing, and income. A further 21% said they want the government to introduce a universal basic income and 18% said a law to ensure politicians are honest with the public.

Jennifer Nadel, Co-Director of Compassion in Politics, said:

“There is a hunger and a need for change. A decade of underfunding, low pay, and inadequate social security support has impoverished millions, weakened our public services, and spread financial fear, stress, and worry. Into that mix we’ve had the continuing disruption and prolonged uncertainty of Brexit. The public have judged this record to be one of failure and they’re putting the government on notice.

“The major tragedy is that so much of this was avoidable. We live in the sixth largest economy in the world. That people are homeless, hungry, or destitute represents a failure of policy-making, not a lack of resource. Guided by the value of compassion and a motivation to care we can ensure that everyone leads a good and healthy life. The policies to do that - like a right to food, income, and housing and greater social security support - are at our disposal. And, as this report shows, the public would welcome their introduction. It’s now up to the government to learn the hard-earned lessons of the last twelve years and lead us towards a future economy which supports, empowers, and cares for all.”

Jess McQuail, Director, JustFair said:

“The public are once again ahead of our Government in discerning the long term solution we need to fix the adversity our country faces. It’s time to seek a future free from crisis and enshrine our economic, social and cultural rights in UK law.”

Koldo Casla, Director of the Human Rights Centre Clinic, said:

“It is time to bring all human rights home by recognising social rights in the law, policies and processes. Enshrining social rights in UK law would ensure greater accountability, empower civil society, develop transparent guidelines to track progress, and raise the voices of people with lived experience of poverty and inequality.”

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