With winter approaching, almost half believe a new prime minister can fix a weak economy and tackle the twin problems of the cost of living and the energy crisis. An exclusive Daily Express poll on the state of the country during an earthquake period in Britain’s history has revealed the hopes and fears of millions. But in Leeds they try.
Some 47% (certainly 13%, probably 34%) think Ms Truss, who became prime minister less than a week ago, will pick up on the issue and fix it.
Main household concerns are the worsening cost of living and inflation crisis, front yard fuel prices, climate change, the NHS and housing – both in volume and cost .
OnePoll’s nationally representative survey of 2,000 adults conducted September 7-8 has made startling findings.
He revealed that 77% of households felt ‘threatened’ for the coming winter, as the prospect of an NHS strike, the specter of a spike in Covid infections, flu and hospital capacity loom are combined to create a perfect storm and a skyrocketing cost of living.
On energy in particular, 28% approve of his decision immediately after his appointment to deal with appalling situations that could plunge tens of millions of households into crisis.
Just a day after taking over from Boris Johnson as No 10, the 47-year-old married mother and Britain’s third female prime minister has begun freezing consumer price caps. This means that a typical UK household now pays just £2,500 a year for energy. The freeze will begin on October 1 and will last for two years.
Combined with the previously announced £400 reduction for all households, the bill will be close to the current energy price cap.
At current prices, his plan would mean an average saving of at least £1,000 per year per household. There will also be a fund for those who do not directly benefit from the new proposal, such as those who do not have standard gas and electricity contracts.
His proposal for hydraulic fracturing – drilling into the ground and directing a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals into rock formations to release the gas inside – also received widespread support.
The energy crisis has prompted a revival of hydraulic fracturing – a national project so far scuttled by environmentalists. It was discontinued in 2019 due to opposition from green groups and fears of an earthquake. The UK fracking moratorium has been lifted and our polls show 55% support to start with.
“Decades of short-term energy thinking have failed to adequately focus on securing supplies – Russia’s war in Ukraine has exposed gaps in our energy security and rising bills. I want to end this once and for all.
“I will take immediate action to support individuals and businesses over the next two years with a new energy price guarantee and tackle the root causes of the problem by increasing household energy supply.
“Extraordinary challenges require extraordinary measures to ensure the UK never falls back into this situation again.”
Former Foreign Secretary Ms Truss, who became Prime Minister last Tuesday, met the Queen at Balmoral two days before her death. After returning to London, she embarked on a brutal elimination of Mr Johnson’s Cabinet, which included prominent rivals such as Home Secretary Priti Patel, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the Attorney General High profile Sunak supporter Dominic Raab.
The Prime Minister promised a wave of tax cuts to revive the economy and pledged to reverse the 1.25% increase in National Insurance which came into effect in April. About 63% of our survey respondents said it would help.
Its new chancellor, Quasi Kwaten, is expected to hold an emergency “fiscal event” where the changes will be detailed.
Ms Truss also plans to overhaul personal income tax, including raising the threshold for paying basic income tax and higher rates, as well as lowering the basic tax rate by 20% currently.