More Britons say their personal income is not being impacted by COVID-19

Six in ten Britons say their personal income is not affected by the pandemic, with other signs of rising household-level economic optimism.
29 April 2021
Woman paying with card machine in UK shop
Grace Lown Author

Head of Public Affairs, Public Division

Luke Taylor

Head of Opinion Polling, Public Division, UK

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Our latest study into on British public opinion and voting intentions finds some increasing metrics of household-level economic optimism and divisions on whether vaccine passports should be used in the UK this year.

Key findings from our research from 22 to 26 April:

  • Less than one in four (23%, -3 vs March) say it is harder for them to meet their monthly household budget than it was 12 months ago.
  • Over 6 in 10 (62%) now say that their personal income “has not been impacted” by coronavirus, up from 56% in March, 54% in February and 49% in January.
  • More than half of people say they think the government have handled the pandemic very/fairly well (51%, +3 vs March). In November 2020, the figure was 28%.
  • However, now just 26% rate the cooperation between countries globally in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak at very/fairly good, compared to almost half who said the same in May 2020 (49%) and 31% in March 2021.
  • Older people in Britain are much more in favour of COVID status certifications (“vaccine passports”) to allow overseas travel (78% of 65+) compared to people aged 18-24 (46%).
  • The public appear divided on whether “vaccine passports” should be used in the UK this year for access to venues such as pubs, cinemas and sports venues.

Household economic impacts

This month’s research shows the proportion of people who think that the economy will be “worse in 12 months’ time” has fallen to 22% (-4), akin to 2015 levels. In November 2020 the figure was 47%.

However, when it comes to personal savings, there is a mixed picture in Britain:

  • One in five (21%) say their savings have decreased since the start of the pandemic, 41% say they have stayed the same, and 20% say their savings have increased.
  • Older people are more likely to say they have increased their savings: 30% of 65+, compared to 18% of 18-24, 15% of 25-34 and 16% of 35–44-year-olds.
  • People aged 35-44 are most likely to report that their savings decreased: 28%, followed by 25-34-year-olds at 25%. Just 11% of 65+ report the same.
  • Of the people who saved extra money, only 3% of them intend to spend it all by the end of the year. Over half of the people (56%) who have saved extra money say that they will only spend “some of it” or “none at all” this year.

Government rating

Satisfaction levels with government’s handling of the pandemic are steady from last month:

  • More than three quarters of people (74%, -4) say they are very/somewhat satisfied with the vaccine rollout organised by government and health authorities.
  • Satisfaction levels have remained steady for the 65+ (91% vs 92% last month) but have dropped slightly among people aged under 45 (61% vs 70% last month).
  • 51% of people think that the government are handling the COVID-19 outbreak very/fairly well (+3), while 41% (-5) think the government has handled the outbreak poorly.
  • 46% think the pace at which the government is adjusting the restrictions to everyday life is ‘about right’ (+2).

Public view of the COVID-19 restrictions and vaccination campaign

Support for the idea of a COVID status certification (“vaccine passport”) to allow overseas travel into and out of the UK this summer has dropped a little since last month. 60% strongly/ tend to support (-3), whilst support remains lower among younger people (46% of 18-24s) compared to older people (78% of 65+).

The public is also divided on whether COVID status certification should be used for entry to different types of places within the UK:

  • Pubs, bars, restaurants – 46% support and 38% oppose.
  • Cinemas and theatres – 51% support and 36% oppose.
  • Music venues and nightclubs – 53% support and 32% oppose.
  • Sports venues – 53% support and 33% oppose.

This month’s research indicates that the government may have work to do to assure Britons of the effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine:

  • 59% (+2) of Britons trust a great deal/ somewhat that the Moderna vaccine is safe and effective, compared to 72% (-2) for the Pfizer-BioNTech and 68% (-5) for the Oxford-AstraZeneca. This may be primarily due to a lack of awareness of the Moderna vaccine – 27% “do not know” whether it is safe or effective, compared with 15% for both the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

Voting intentions

  • Con 41% (-1 vs March 2021)
  • Lab 33% (-1)
  • L Dem 10% (+1)
  • Green 7% (+3)
  • SNP 5% (-2)
  • Reform UK (formerly Brexit Party) 3% (+1)
  • Plaid Cymru <1% (-1)
  • UKIP 1% (nc)
  • Other 1% (nc)

Methodological information

The survey data and further details on the methodological approach can be found here. A total of 1,115 interviews were conducted online among adults living in Great Britain between the 22 and 26 April 2021. All interviews were conducted online using the Kantar Research Express. The Kantar online access panel was the main sample source. The data was weighted to match population totals for age, gender, 2019 General Election voting patterns, 2016 EU referendum voting patterns, education, region, and likelihood to vote in the next General Election. Any use of this research must cite Kantar as the source.

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