Public want slower spending cuts

By staff

A poll has suggested widespread disapproval with the coalition’s approach to deficit reduction.

Seventy per cent of respondents of a poll for the Economist newspaper by Ipsos Mori believe it is better to cut public spending more slowly, to reduce the impact on public services and the economy, compared to just 25% backing quick spending cuts.

Only 28% said they thought ministers had got the balance between cutting spending and raising taxes right, with 43% believing spending was being cut too heavily. The research also found that the majority fear the cuts will hit the poorest hardest.

The findings will encourage Ed Miliband’s opposition, which has consistently argued for the impact of spending cuts to be spread over a longer period of time.

But public anger at the last Labour government appears undiminished, denting the opposition’s hopes.

Just over a quarter of those participating in the survey blamed the coalition government most of all for the level of cuts to the public services, compared to just under half for Gordon Brown’s government.

This remained the case even when banks and the state of the global economy were asked about: banks were blamed by 29%, but the last Labour government continued to be blamed by 31%.

The survey contains more bad news for the Liberal Democrats, who were placed on just ten per cent in a separate Ipsos Mori poll released yesterday.

When asked whether the Conservatives or the Lib Dems had been truer to their pre-election plans in coalition, 44% backed David Cameron’s party and just eight per cent Nick Clegg’s.

The poll was based on the answers of 1,000 British adults and took place from March 11th to March 13th.