36 per cent of UK consumers believe companies are using ‘inflation’ as an excuse to increase their profits
New research commissioned by Gocompare.com shows that a ‘trust gap’ is developing between companies and cash strapped UK consumers.
Key findings of the research include:
36% of Brits think companies use ‘inflation’ as an excuse to push up prices
50% think the Government should do more to control fuel prices
44% want to see a cut in fuel duty
41% of consumers feel worse off now than they did 12 months ago
Just 22% of consumers (46% of over 55s) want to see interest rates raised
Responses of the 3000 adults from across the UK who took part in the survey show that far from believing that ‘we’re all in this together,’ over a third (36%) of Brits think that companies in various sectors are using ‘inflation’ as an excuse to increase prices and improve their bottom line.
An even higher 38 per cent of Brits think that fuel companies use situations such as unrest in the Middle East as an excuse to push up the price of petrol and diesel and increase their profits.
Half (50%) of consumers want the Government to do more to control the price of petrol and diesel and 44 per cent think the Government should reduce fuel duty to help cut motorists spiralling costs.
When asked about their own financial situation, 41 per cent of consumers said they feel worse off now than they did this time last year, and 45 per cent feel their situation has remained about the same. Just 13 per cent feel better off now than they did 12 months ago when the coalition Government came to power.
With nearly a quarter (24%) of consumers saying they are having to make cutbacks just to make ends meet, the majority of Brits who expressed their opinion do not want to see an interest rate rise. 26 per cent are happy for interest rates to stay where they are and 17 per cent would like them to fall still further.
Overall around 1 in 5 (22%) consumers would like to see interest rates go up, but that figure more than doubles to 46 per cent for respondents over 55, perhaps reflecting their reliance on savings income.
John Miles, Gocompare.com’s business development director commented, “It’s clear that many consumers are struggling to cope with the effects of high inflation and high fuel and energy costs. However, this research shows that a significant number of customers believe companies are taking advantage of the tougher economic climate to pass more costs on to them and boost their profits. This mistrust may well prompt more consumers to ditch their long held loyalties and shop around for better deals and we would certainly encourage this. Companies which know they have to compete for your business will be forced to offer more competitive deals and prices and consumers should shop around for everything.”