Most People Support Backing Ukraine Despite Impact On Cost Of Living Crisis
A new poll shows people back continued support for Ukraine despite economic impact
Exclusive: A majority of respondents to a new poll want the UK to continue its support of Ukraine in opposing the war waged by Vladimir Putin even though they believe measures are worsening the cost of living crisis.
The poll, conducted by Public First on behalf of think-tank More In Common, and seen exclusively by PoliticsHome, found that 51 per cent of people surveyed believed the UK's support for Ukraine was deepening the cost of living crisis, but that it should continue regardless.
Just 18 per cent believed the economic impact on the UK was significant enough to justify a scale-back on support for Ukraine, while a further 14 per cent said they did not believe the support was having any impact on the cost of living.
Public First polled 2,001 adults across the UK between 2-5 December.
Ministers have repeatedly blamed Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine for the energy crisis which left households facing record bills. Surging energy costs as a result of the war have also been linked to increased fuel and food prices as inflation rates continue to rise across the globe.
But while overall people supported the UK's continued backing of Ukraine in its war with Russia, there were stark generational differences when the data was broken down by age group.
Nearly three-quarters – 74 per cent – of those aged 65 and over wanted to continue supporting Ukraine despite the economic impact, potentially because they are the group most likely to be insulated from the worst of the economic impacts.
Support was lower among all other age groups, with backing for the statement falling incrementally across each age bracket, with those aged 18-24 showing the least support at just 37 per cent.
But asked if they believed the support should continue "no matter" the economic cost, exactly half of people said it should. Almost a third – 29 per cent – wanted the government to scale back support if the financial impact becomes too high at some point.
Luke Tryl, director of More In Common, said the figures show the public are prepared to send a "clear message" in their support for Ukraine.
"As a cold winter sets in, far from weakening in our resolve to support Ukraine, Brits are sending a clear message that despite the economic cost ensuring Russia's invasion is defeated is a price worth paying," he said.
"Going into the new year the public are open to a range of measures to bolster our support for Ukraine, including more sanctions and selling the assets of Russian oligarchs."
The poll also found a majority of people polled (51 per cent) were in favour of increasing sanctions on Russia further, while 45 per cent said ministers should consider selling off assets seized from Russian oligarchs to help Ukraine pay for their rebuilding efforts.
Over a third of respondents also wanted the government to explore other options for supporting Ukraine, including working to remove Russia from the UN Security Council – 36 per cent, or taking additional steps to block Russian citizens from getting UK visas – 34 per cent.
The poll found that support was very limited for direct military action, with just 10 per cent believing the government should consider sending British troops to fight in Ukraine.
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