This is the 3rd insights digest of Segmanta’s Life During COVID-19 study. We conducted research in the U.S. and the U.K. to understand how the recent pandemic has impacted consumerism, personal relationships, the job market, along with general beliefs and opinions during this unusual time. More than 2,000 respondents completed the survey.
Public health has always been a heated issue amongst citizens and their leaders. During a pandemic more than ever, citizens need their governments to guide through economic, health, and supply challenges. To find out how citizens view the responses of their government during the crisis, we asked more than 2,000 people in the U.K. and the U.S. to rate their satisfaction with their government in handling the COVID-19 chaos. Here are some of our findings from the survey.
- Both U.S. and U.K. citizens were slightly dissatisfied with the response of their governments to the COVID-19 crisis. U.S. respondents rated their government’s response at an average of 2.8/5.0, while U.K. respondents rated it 2.9/5.0. During the month of June, the U.K. government slowly loosened its social distancing restrictions. During this time, the U.S. government also aimed to relax social distancing rules in phases.
- As unemployment surges, U.K. respondents were somewhat satisfied (3.5/5.0) with their government’s policies regarding providing financial support for workers who lost their jobs or were furloughed. US respondents, on the other hand, were much less satisfied (2.6/5.0) with their government’s response to these workers. According to government data, the biggest economic stimulus (approximately $52 billion dollars) from the U.K. government went to Coronavirus jobless aid; the U.S. government paid an estimated $600 billion dollars to directly boost family finances during COVID-19.
- Overall, respondents felt disappointed in their government in displaying leadership during the pandemic (UK: 2.3/5.0, US: 2.2/5.0). Blackbox Research and Toluna also conducted similar research and found that both the U.K. and the U.S. citizens scored their government’s response to COVID-19 below the global average, while a significant number of Asian countries are ranked higher than average.
- More than 80% of the respondents from both the U.S. and the U.K. say they are working mothers and that spending a lot of time at home with kids is challenging both physically and mentally. Respondents from both countries expressed dissatisfaction (2.4/5.0) with their governments over the schooling and education policies during the pandemic period.
- Compared to the U.K. (2.7/5.0), Americans are less pleased (2.5/5.0) with their government’s response to economic stimulus solutions. According to Bruegel, the U.K. and the U.S. governments mainly allocated stimulus funds to industries that were heavily impacted by COVID-19 including retail, hospitality, and travel. Additionally, the two governments supported small businesses, public health services, and gave aid for businesses on their tax return and rent.
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Facing the devastating global pandemic, many find it difficult to keep a high spirit, especially when they view their government as incompetent. When asked about their concerns about the future, U.S. respondents are 23% more likely to worry about their government’s efficiency and transparency in handling the crisis, compared to U.K. respondents.
According to research, both governments are losing public trust as citizens had expected their governments to take earlier action than they did during the pandemic. Economic fallback greatly concerned many about their financial situation. Issues from the pandemic runs deeper into governmental leadership competency, administrative structure, international relations, and media. To restore the people’s confidence and maintain stability, governments need to live up to expectations and take responsible, effective measures.