Britons are more worried about the cost of living crisis than Covid

The UK population is now more than worry about their finances rather than catching up with Covid, according to a university study indicating that rising inflation is becoming a top concern of the public.

In March, 38% of UK adults said they were worried about their finances, the highest percentage since the launch of Covid social research conducted by University College London in March 2020.

By contrast, the rate of concern about getting or getting sick from the coronavirus fell to 33%, down from 40% in January.

All age groups reported an increase worry about their finances, but this number reaches nearly half of 30- to 59-year-olds, twice the rate among older adults. In this middle-aged group, only about a third are worried about Covid.

Professor Daisy Fancourt, lead author, said the results “saw a cost-of-living crisis emerge”.

Fancourt said the findings highlight how the government’s new coronavirus guidelines have affected how people perceive the disease. “This is despite the fact that the number of Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths remain the same or higher than January 2022, which means that the overall situation remains unchanged regardless of the situation,” she said. accept the change in attitude.

In the UK, legal restrictions around Covid ended on 24 February, with similar easing in other countries soon after.

Household finances became the top concern for Britons ahead of a 54% increase in energy bill limits set by the industry regulator in April. Even before that, consumer inflation edged up to a 30-year high in February of 6.2% and the consensus was for March figures to be released on Wednesday.

Inflation could accelerate further in the second part of the year as gas and oil prices rise following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As a result, only about half of the population felt in control of their finances in March, down from nearly two-thirds last October, the UCL study found.

The study, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, UKRI and Wellcome, was based on a survey of 29,000 people interviewed between March 21 and 27. Many of the smaller studies were conducted by the Office for National Statistics. published every two weeks shows an increasing percentage of the population cutting back on non-essential spending and using energy to cope with the rising cost of living.

The UCL report also shows that the cost of living crisis is creating new mental health problems, with happiness and life satisfaction levels falling each month since last summer. At the same time, symptoms of depression and anxiety were also at their highest in nearly a year and on par with the time of the first relaxation of the ban in 2020.

Cheryl Lloyd, head of education at the Nuffield Foundation, said the results show that “the rising cost of living is having a negative impact on people’s mental health, especially those living on low incomes.” short”.

This is despite people going out and about more. Nearly two-thirds of people left home last month for entertainment purposes, an all-time high for the study. In fact, most people are following the new easing guidelines, the study found, but confidence levels in the government in its handling of the pandemic remain relatively low, at about the same level as when the order was imposed. The first lockdown is relaxed in 2020.

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