Rishi Sunak approval rating: Chancellor’s popularity plummets to record low

Rishi Sunak's popularity reaches net score of -18 say polls

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A survey conducted by Opinium Research has revealed that more British residents now disapprove of the job Chancellor Rishi Sunak is doing, marking a distinct fall in popularity for the 41-year-old. The development comes hot on the heels of Mr Sunak ordering an inquiry into how the tax affairs of his wife Akshata Murty appeared in the media last week.

According to the market research company, Mr Sunak currently has an approval rating of 28 percent – the lowest it’s been with the firm.

In comparison, 43 percent of the respondents answered that they disapprove of the job the Chancellor is doing.

The data was collected between April 6 and 8 and involved sampling approximately 2,002 UK residents.

Participants were asked: “To what extent do you approve or disapprove of the way Rishi Sunak is handling his job as Chancellor of the Exchequer?”

Mr Sunak’s disapproval rating has jumped considerably in the last fortnight alone from 35 percent to its current value.

During the same period, his approval rating fell by three percentage points.

Last December, Mr Sunak held a positive margin of 10 percentage points between the number of people who approve and disapprove of his performance.

At its peak, the Chancellor’s approval rating was ranked at 48 percent – correct as of March 2021.

Why has Rishi Sunak’s popularity dropped?

In recent months Mr Sunak has faced criticism, with some arguing the Chancellor is failing to do enough to support households who are feeling the financial pinch from the cost of living crisis.

At the start of April, the energy price cap grew by 54 percent, meaning a household using a typical amount of gas and electricity will now pay £1,971 per year.

A 30-year high in inflation is further compounding the misery for Britons, many of whom could now struggle to buy basic goods and services.

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Last month, the Chancellor announced a handful of changes during his Spring Statement, aimed at easing the financial woes of residents.

For example, he has cut fuel duty by 5p per litre until March next year and raised the threshold before people start paying National Insurance contributions by £3,000.

However, Labour MP Angela Eagle said Mr Sunak had not done enough to stop the poorest from suffering “massively” from the “vicious” price spiral.

The Resolution Foundation think tank has also suggested his package of measures would push 1.3 million people, including 500,000 children, into poverty.

Mr Sunak has come under further scrutiny this week after details of his wife Akshata Murty’s tax affairs were published in the press.

Ms Murty owns £700million in shares of the Indian IT giant Infosys – founded by her father – from which she received £11.6million in dividend income last year.

As a non-domiciled (non-dom) UK resident, she is not required by law to pay UK taxes on her overseas income, which would equate to her saving millions in UK tax each year.

However, she has since said she will pay UK taxes on her overseas income, telling the BBC she did not want to be a “distraction” for her husband.

But the development has heaped more pressure on Mr Sunak at a time when households are struggling to meet rising bills.

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