In recent weeks, the call for Government to take urgent action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis have mounted. The situation is already desperate, and likely to get worse as we near the winter.
The Government has found itself caught up in ideological battles and unable to offer clear answers.
The fact that deregulation is increasingly offered as one response shows the degree to which panic that taken hold. The strategy is politically misguided.
As Polly Toynbee put it in a column earlier this week: “The kitsch “nanny state” and “red tape” obsession is a freakish Westminster Tory cult, not what most people want.”
Indeed, Unchecked UK’s latest polling confirms that deregulation holds no traction with voters, Conservatives ones included.
This perhaps explains why two leading supermarkets chose to ignore the Government’s decision to delay the ban on BOGOF deals on unhealthy foods. And why parents took to social media in protest of the proposal to allow nurseries to decrease care ratios. The public simply don’t buy the idea that we can deregulate our way out of the cost-of living crisis.
Having the public firmly on our side is a major advantage for those of us who believe that protections are the framework of a decent society. However, a key lesson for us is that this is not enough.
In the coming months we will be looking at ways of activating public support for our cause. For the truth is that those on the other side retain a stranglehold on setting the parameters of the narrative, as those of you who attended the last Unchecked UK Supporter Meeting will have heard. It’s not just that deregulators set the tone, we tend to follow their cue and, in this way, only help entrench the idea that rules are but a ‘burden’ on us and our economy.
Phoebe Clay is co-Director of Unchecked UK