Majorities ‘unhappy’ about costs of living in Western Europe – poll
More than 60% of people in each of seven Western European countries examined by YouGov claim that their government is doing badly “at managing the cost of living.” Large majorities have been forced to cut their household spending and expect the trend to continue.
The countries analyzed in the survey include Britain, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Sweden, and Denmark. The most widespread dissatisfaction was expressed by British and Italian respondents. About 82% in the two countries assess their respective governments’ attempts at cost control negatively, with just 10% and 13% saying leaders were doing well.
However, taxpayers from Nordic countries showed a higher satisfaction rate. While 65% and 62% in Sweden and Denmark respectively were unhappy, 27% in both countries said the governments are “doing a good job” at dealing with living costs.
“No fewer than 80% of people in each country have either made cuts or believe they will have to do so, rising as high as 93% in Italy,” YouGov said.
Some 41% of Italians also state that in “the last three months they have ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’ struggled to afford their energy bills.” YouGov noted that incoming Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will have to “act quickly” to resolve the matter.
Moving to Britain, YouGov’s September survey indicates that the vast majority of Brits also disapprove of the cabinet’s new economic plans. At that moment, 72% of respondents thought that “abolishing the top rate of tax was the wrong priority at the present time.”
Energy and living costs in Europe have increased dramatically amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Speaking at the Russian Energy Week forum on Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin pointed out that EU authorities shouldn’t blame Russia for growing energy bills. “Ordinary Europeans suffer. Their electricity and gas bills have more than tripled in one year. The population, just like in the Middle Ages, has begun to stockpile firewood for the winter,” he remarked.