Politicians ‘out of touch with ordinary voters’

POLITICIANS have been urged to do more to focus on voters’ concerns after a survey found 81 per cent of people felt they “did not understand the real world”.

A YouGov poll on behalf of the think tank Policy Exchange found that much of the Westminster political debate was irrelevant. The cost of living was the central issue for most families, with 50 per cent saying their top priority was lower energy bills, followed by cuts in fuel duty (43 per cent), lower income tax and lower VAT.

Neil O’Brien, director of the Conservative-linked think tank, said: “The results of our research show that political parties need to focus on addressing cost of living issues such as reducing energy bills and the price of petrol rather than broader issues affecting the state of the nation.

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“The evidence also suggests that neither Labour or the Conservatives have succeeded in appealing to ordinary working people.”

Hull Labour MP Diana Johnson said: “Recent events with the Budget show why so many of the public think politicians are out of touch with the real world at the moment, and especially with regard to how life is for many people in the North of England. There’s the cut to the 50p tax rate, while most people see living standards fall, having VAT on pasties but not caviar, and Ministers’ obsession with ironing out perceived anomalies with VAT on static caravans.”

The study revealed a North-South divide on some issues, with most Northerners believing green policies were a “waste of money” while Southerners were divided.