Public 'ready for change' as UK economy is 'unfair' and 'not working', poll reveals

News at Jubb & Co | 05/09/2018

The public does not think the UK economy is working for young people, or those living outside the south of England, a study by think tank IPPR has revealed.

Two in three (67%) think the economy works badly for young people, while 53% believe it works badly for people outside the south, a Sky Data poll commissioned by IPPR has found.

Seven in ten (70%) say the economy does not work for people who do not own a home - and 74% say the same for people born into poor families.

Just 22% of people think the way the economy works is fair, with 48% saying it is unfair - rising to 63% among those aged under the age of 35.

And 53% think the way the economy works has become less fair over the last decade, with Conservative voters more likely to say the economy has become less fair (38%) than more fair (15%).

The findings come as IPPR's Commission on Economic Justice - backed by leading figures including the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby - called for "fundamental reform" of an economy that is "not working".

Among the reforms supported by the majority of the British public are:
•Regulating companies like Google and Facebook in a similar way to broadcasters (84%)
•A new corporation tax for companies who misleadingly report zero profits in the UK (83%)
•An increase in the minimum wage to £8.75 per hour (80% support)
•Making it compulsory to have workers on company boards (63%)
•Asking the Bank of England to adopt policies to keep house prices from rising (60%)
•A higher minimum wage for zero hours contracts at 20% above the standard minimum wage (56%)
•Establishing a publicly owned investment bank (55%)
•Greater government borrowing and investment (52%)
•Raising capital gains tax to the same rate as income tax (50%)

Catherine Colebrook, chief economist to the Commission on Economic Justice at IPPR, said: "This new polling data shows the disillusionment people feel with the economy as it works now.

"Old and young, Conservative and Labour, Leave and Remain - among all groups, the prevailing sense is that the economy does not work in a fair way and that it is becoming increasingly unfair over time.

"There is remarkable support for fundamental reform, suggesting the British people are ready for a new kind of economy and a new kind of economic policy."

Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the findings were "today's equivalent" of the Beveridge report, a seminal document which played a part in the founding of the welfare state.

"The IPPR have provided a clear analysis of the underlying long-term weaknesses of our economy, setting out a series of creative policy initiatives.