As so often with statistics, the new ONS data tells us stuff we’d assume anyway: but it’s still useful because it reminds the key people trying to turf out New Labour what the nature of the communication task is.
The updated household survey just released on the ONS site shows that older and more upmarket homes are retrenching to the point of net saving, but the young and downmarket core Labour supporters are continuing to spend more than they earn.
A lot of these people will actively abstain or apathetically not bother – in the case of young voters, a frightening 78% of them. But like the public sector workers, there will always be a sensible minority open to the cold water approach. This is what George Osborne needs to keep applying.
In the face of this, stand by for more Mandelson, Darling and Campbell mendacity about not talking Britain down and not sending us ‘back into’ a recession we’ve never really left. The Tories fell for this tactic hook,line and sinker at the start: now the Party seems to be waking up.
So far, up to but not including the Leader.