The majority of Europeans are dissatisfied with how their governments are managing the cost of living emergency, and we are less happy we Italians, together with the English. 82% of those living in Italy and in the United Kingdom believe that the measures to deal with the loss of purchasing power are inadequate, against i78% of Germans, 74% of Spaniards, and six out of ten Swedes and Danes. However, the list drawn up by the British research center is for Italy You gov expresses the greatest concerns. More than nine out of ten Italians (93%) are planning cuts or have already had to reduce their spendinga higher share than that of France, Spain and Germany where the average is around 80%.
Without too much surprise, the first difficulty for Italian families is the increase of energy costand the YouGov report sends a direct message to the next government ie act quickly to help the 41% of Italians who said they had trouble paying their electricity and gas bills in the last three months, and the 32% who had problems buying the necessary petrol. A widespread discomfort throughout Europe which, however, shows higher levels in Italy.
To share the degree of our dissatisfaction are the British at the mercy of the “economic turmoil” triggered by the mini financial institution of the Truss governmentto use the same words of theformer Chancellor of the Exchequer (British Economy Minister, ed) Kwasi Kwarteng, fired yesterday 38 days after his appointment. The maneuver presented at the end of September envisaged tax cuts for the wealthy and production categories. The aim was to encourage a virtuous economic effect which, in theory, should cascade benefits also for the economically weakest segments of the population. A financed maneuver for which the coverage was not clear, however, which risked resorting exclusively to public debt, an element that has caused strong perplexities (and reactions) from international investors, forcing the central bank of england to intervene in defense of the pound and British government bonds. Yesterday Prime Minister Truss’s decision to replace Kwarteng with the former foreign minister Jeremy Hunt.
In the meantime, however, the signs of difficulty among the population are intensifying. 91% of food banks report an increase in requests for help. However, half of the centers risk not being able to satisfy the demand due to the donations crash, according to research by Ifan (Independent Food Aid Network). Next to food banks across the UK so-called ‘warm banks’ are spreading set up by municipalities, local communities and charities in places such as libraries, parish or sports centres, where people can find a place to warm up, a hot meal and a cup of tea.
“In the UK poverty affects 22% of the population, about 14.5 million people, among which the extreme poverty”, he explains Paula DeAgostinisenior economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation: “Our survey shows us that three quarters of the population in extreme poverty risks having to give up at least one of these two essential goods: buy food or turn on the radiator. 27% of these people are unable to heat the house, 21% have difficulty both buying food and paying for heating, while 45% have skipped meals because they are short of economic resources”.
The government has launched a package of measures which includes a spending cap on bills energy to help families, however, explains De Agostini there is still a difference of approx 450 pounds on average between bills and household income availability. “To cover this figure, our recommendation to the government is to increase i support for families in line with inflationas soon as possible to help families during the winter and therefore anticipating the indexation of benefits which usually takes place in April”, says De Agostini who adds, “Based on our analyses, increasing subsidies in line with wages and not with inflation could cause a family, made up of two parents and two children, to lose an average of 300 pounds a year which, in addition to the increase in costs, makes it very difficult to face expenses for essential goods such as food and heating”.
To the economist of the Jfr foundation, specialized in studies on poverty. we ask what admonition and what lessons can we learn from the Great Britain model, who is currently discussing an about-turn in the budget law which is sinking the conservative party’s consensus. “In 2022 it is unacceptable that in countries like the UK and Italy there are such situations of poverty. The impact of increases in inflation differs between the poorest and the wealthiest households and it is important that the government helps households starting as a priority with adjusting monetary aid levels in line with inflation (rather than wages) but in the longer term work on a household welfare system that is capable of ensure that everyone is able to obtain at least essential goods such as food and heating”