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- British Social Attitudes Survey finds support for ending austerity at ten-year high. Just 4% of people want further cuts to public spending. Survey was conducted last year before the surge in support for Corbyn’s Labour party and the row over the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Labour will on Wednesday force a parliamentary vote on reversing government cuts.
LONDON – Support for ending the government’s decade of cuts to public service has surged to its highest point since before the last economic crash.
The new British Social Attitudes Survey finds that almost half of the British public wants to move away from the Conservative government’s commitment to austerity politics, with just 4% wanting more cuts.
Overall, 48% say they want the government to increase spending on health, education and social benefits.
British Social Attitudes Survey:
Brits were asked what approach they’d like to see the government take to towards taxing and spending.
Here are the results:
- Increase taxes / spend more: 48% Keep taxes / spend the same: 44% Reduce taxes / spend less: 4%
The public is particularly in favour of raising spending on the NHS, schools and the police with 83% wanting an increase in health spending, 69% on education and 58% on law enforcement.
The survey, which was conducted between June and November last year before the surprise surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party and the row over public spending triggered by the Grenfell Tower fire, suggests the public has grown tired of continuing cuts to the public sector.
Earlier this month the Chancellor Philip Hammond acknowledged that the Conservatives had suffered in the election because “people are weary of the long slog” on public sector cuts.
The findings come as Labour prepares to force a parliamentary vote on ending austerity.
Corbyn will on Wednesday table an amendment to the Queen’s Speech calling on the government to scrap cuts to the emergency services and lift the public sector pay cap.
Labour’s Queen’s Speech amendment:
“[We] respectfully regret that the Gracious Speech fails to end cuts to the police and the fire service; commend the response of the emergency services to the recent terrorist attacks and to the Grenfell Tower fire; call on the Government to recruit more police officers and fire-fighters; and further call on the Government to end the public sector pay cap and give the emergency and public services a fair pay rise.”
The Liberal Democrats say they will support the amendment. “The government must listen to the overwhelming tide of public opinion and give our police, firefighters and nurses a pay rise,” Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael said.
However, the amendment is likely to fail following a £1.5 billion deal between Theresa May’s minority Conservative government and the Democratic Unionist Party to support her Queen’s Speech.