Third of British households believe they will need state support

Worried couple doing their accounts

A third of British households believe that they will need financial support from the state in the next three months as concerns grow about job security and the economy.

Eighty-four per cent of people believe that the government should do all it can, whatever the cost, to prop up jobs and businesses through the pandemic, Trends Research, a research consultancy, found.

One in three households expect they will need government help by July, in wage support or benefits, and 44 per cent are worried that they may lose their job, the worst reading since the survey began in August 2011.

A third of households are already finding it harder to meet their monthly outgoings than a year ago and half of respondents believe the economy will be in a worse condition next year, a sign that the public does not believe there will be a swift V-shaped recovery.

The government has taken unprecedented action to protect companies and people from the effects of the lockdown, with a job retention scheme to pay furloughed workers’ wages that is expected to cost £40 billion as well as tax breaks and more than £300 billion of guaranteed business loans.

Public support for emergency action is converting into backing for the Conservative Party. Sixty-one per cent of people think the government is handling the crisis well, a 14-point increase since March. the research also found that the Tories are polling at 54 per cent of voting intentions, up four points since March.

The survey was conducted between April 16 and 20, with the lockdown in full effect.

Confidence in the economy is at its lowest since the survey began, with two thirds saying it is doing worse than 12 months ago, compared with 31 per cent in March 2020. The previous high was 58 per cent in December 2011.