The Health Foundation has today released new polling data with Ipsos looking at the financial and emotional impact of Coronavirus and at attitudes towards health inequalities.
The financial impacts of the outbreak on people’s income have improved slightly since May (those experiencing a negative financial impact has fallen from 41% to 35%) and fewer people are finding it harder to do basic things such as communicating with family and friends (down from 47% to 38%) and getting basic food items (down from 54% to 23%).
However, there are signs that the pandemic is taking a greater financial and emotional toll on people from a BAME background – over four in ten people from a BAME background (43%) report a negative impact on their income as a result of Coronavirus, while people from a BAME background are more likely to report concerns about their mental wellbeing as a result of the outbreak (40% say they have no concerns, compared with 50% overall).
Concern about the risk that Coronavirus presents to the health and wellbeing of the nation has fallen since May but remains high, with nearly nine in ten (86%) saying they are concerned. However, the public are even more concerned about the risk to health and wellbeing of the knock-on impact of Coronavirus on lifestyles and the economy (94%) than about the virus itself.
With regards to public opinion on inequalities, the public think living somewhere safe and having access to affordable, healthy food have the greatest impact on people’s chances of living a long and healthy life (71% and 68% respectively think they have a great deal of impact). Education level and access to transport are seen to have the smallest impact (36% and 30% respectively think they have a great deal of impact).
However, the public think the Government has the greatest responsibility for education and ensuring safe neighbourhoods (75% and 63% respectively think the Government has a great deal of responsibility for these). Areas of both relatively high perceived impact and Government responsibility are living somewhere safe, housing conditions, and employment and working conditions. In general, people from BAME backgrounds are more likely to think that the Government has responsibility for addressing the different areas of inequality.
With regards to “levelling up” different parts of the country, the public think it is most important that the Government addresses differences in people’s economic prosperity (62% say this is very important).
The July survey was conducted by telephone on the Ipsos CATI Omnibus survey, a weekly telephone omnibus survey of a representative sample of people aged 18 and over in Great Britain. Fieldwork took place between 17th July and 29th July 2020. A total of 2,246 people were interviewed. For the main sample, quotas were set on age, gender, Government Office Region and working status. In addition to the people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds interviewed as part of the main sample, a booster survey was conducted. The sample includes a total of 423 interviews conducted with BAME participants, of which 181 participants were interviewed as part of the main sample and 242 as part of the booster sample.
For the overall July findings, data has been weighted to the known population proportions for age within gender, Government Office Region and working status and social grade. For the BAME findings, data has been weighted to the known population proportions for age, gender, Government Office Region, working status and social grade.
The May survey was also conducted via telephone on the Ipsos CATI Omnibus survey. A total of 1,983 people were interviewed between 1st and 10th May 2020. Where questions were repeated in the July survey, these have been included in the report against the May data for comparison, with significant differences commented upon.
The following socio-economic groups align with the socio-economic groups in the data tables:
- Professional, administrative and management roles corresponds to AB social grades
- Routine and skilled manual workers correspondents to C1/C2
- Unemployed corresponds to DE