Talk

Advanced search

Spending cuts causing public backlash against coalition, says opinion poll

(54 Posts)
ttosca Sat 24-Sep-11 00:07:12

• Guardian/ICM poll: 62% say austerity measures harm economy
• Half of voters unimpressed by coalition's record
• Only half Labour voters think Ed Miliband would be good PM

The tide of public opinion has turned against coalition spending cuts, according to a Guardian/ICM poll which shows a majority of voters now believe excessive austerity is doing more harm than good to the economy.

The research – carried out this week before Labour's annual conference – finds overwhelming public concern about the speed and pace of cuts in the face of the return to economic crisis and fears of a double-dip recession. Only 32% agree with the statement "the government's tax increases and public spending cuts are essential to protect Britain's economy".

Almost twice as many, 62%, now agree 'the cuts are too deep and too fast, they will harm Britain's economy more than they help it". Among voters only Conservatives are largely in favour of the coalition's programme - with 67% of definite Lib Dem and 87% of Labour supporters opposed.

www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/sep/23/public-opinion-turns-against-cuts?newsfeed=true

thereiver Sat 24-Sep-11 01:16:09

mmm the guardian, a paper that wouldnt know the truth if it hit it, wonder who it will bribe next or what stolen documents it will buy, still the sheep that read it will still believe it and continue to vote as told. like st polly of tony-bee said last week it is its role to tell voters to vote any thing but tory

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 24-Sep-11 06:33:13

Isn't that a bit of a 'no shit Sherlock' survey? Spending cuts are unpopular.... hold the front page. The crucial bit of info is the part about Milliband not being PM material. Similar opinions about Kinnock and Foot kept Labour out of power all through the eighties in spite of equally unpopular economic strategies.

ttosca Sat 24-Sep-11 13:23:57

Cogito-

Isn't that a bit of a 'no shit Sherlock' survey? Spending cuts are unpopular.... hold the front page.

No, it isn't. The survey shows that no only are the spending cuts unpopular, but that most people think they are harming the economy - which, indeed, they are.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 24-Sep-11 15:51:41

They asked 1003 adults out of 60m people in the UK. Like all these straw polls, it's hardly statistically representative..

EdithWeston Sat 24-Sep-11 16:09:36

Whether people think they're harming the economy isn't however the important question. Even serious economists can debate forever on whether there would be "harm" or not (depending on how "harm" is defined). So I agree that finding is rather woolly.

The Miliband one is interesting - he's in a difficult place, as the Labour policy review is still underway, so he has no alternative agenda to champion. This makes him look ineffective, and may fatally undermine him in the eyes of the electorate. The longer he has to go with no policies, the worse it will be - both for him as an individual and for the Party in general.

The Foot example is looking ever more appropriate.

onagar Sat 24-Sep-11 16:14:10

I dislike the Tories, but even I'd say that spending cuts are going to be unpopular, but are sometimes necessary. Course I'd say they cut the wrong things in many cases, but I can't fault them for trying to spend less.

As for "Half of voters unimpressed by coalition's record" has there ever been a government which had the full backing of the voters? If the other half ARE impressed then they must be doing better than I thought.

alemci Sat 24-Sep-11 16:36:00

things are not looking good. We are in debt as a country and inflation is rampant. I think the government has to make cuts.

look at the stock market crash yesterday. I feel quite depressed about the way GB is going. I was listening to Jonathan Davies on local radio yesterday and he is neutral but he got me thinking

glasnost Sat 24-Sep-11 17:18:35

Are you all working directly out of Millbank??? MN has become positively totalitarian in spouting rightwing shite bar a few notable exceptions. It must give you a warm, reassuring glow inside to all be singing from the same misguided hymn sheet.

What a bunch of deluded (or colluded) suckers.

Lemmings or part of the conspiracy driving us over the edge?

onagar Sat 24-Sep-11 17:20:39

glasnost, get on with your homework or you won't be allowed to stay up and watch TV with the grown-ups

onagar Sat 24-Sep-11 17:24:50

As for 'harming the economy' that won't mean a lot in a random survey. I can understand why some economists think it does and I do have an opinion. But truthfully my opinion isn't worth much and nor is that of most people who are not economists.

Mostly people will be saying what their favourite newscaster or politician has said about it.

glasnost Sat 24-Sep-11 22:53:16

onagar my homework is done and dusted here.

Talk about dull.

ttosca Mon 26-Sep-11 00:15:48

It's not just the public who thinks the spending cuts are harming the economy, but the IMF:

IMF cuts UK economic growth forecasts

• IMF predicts UK growth of 1.1% in 2011
• UK at risk of double-dip recession
• Osborne advised of pros and cons to deficit reduction plans
• Fund says share price falls increase recession risk

www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/sep/20/imf-uk-double-dip-recession

=============

The real alternative to the cuts is not 'cuts light', but a radical restructuring of the economy so that wealth isn't continually funnelled from the poorest to the richest, leaving only a tiny minority of very rich people at the top, and the vast majority of the population living a poor or precarious existence.

The people are getting restless and demanding change. Either the ruling class yields, or otherwise unrest will become more common place and more extreme, until change is forced from below.

SansaLannister Mon 26-Sep-11 00:21:25

They'll do it anyway. They don't care.

ttosca Mon 26-Sep-11 00:29:55

Of course they will, because they're anti-poor, small-state ideologues.

CustardCake Mon 26-Sep-11 13:50:19

"Spending Cuts Aren't Popular!" - is that even news?

Honestly who the hell commissions these surveys?

edam Mon 26-Sep-11 14:05:42

It is news because so far the assumption has been that people largely accept the claims that savage, front-loaded spending cuts are necessary. Now everyone can see that they have choked off any hope of recovery. You can't tackle debt without growth.

And it is important if people think government policies are harming the economy - a. because we are in a democracy and our views are supposed to count and b. because it affects people's spending decisions. People who fear unemployment, or who know their customers are not spending, will not spend themselves. Quite rational but increases the downwards pressure on the economy. Everything the government says and does seems designed to fuck the economy even as they claim they are saving it.

Coalition political strategy was clearly to make savage cuts now in the hope that growth would somehow magically return before the next election and we'd all forget that they had cut services and benefits for disabled children and the terminally ill, amongst many other appalling policies. Seems it won't be that easy to fool the electorate.

OTheHugeRaveningWolef Mon 26-Sep-11 14:07:42

There's an interesting Blairite take on Labour's current struggle to find a focus here - I find the analysis of how Labour's target group has fragmented pretty convincing.

It's not just about whether spending cuts are unpopular but about who Labour is actually speaking to, or for, these days. It's far from clear, which I agree with the writer is at the root of why Miliband is floundering even in Opposition against a government that's doing some pretty unpopular things.

CustardCake Mon 26-Sep-11 14:20:43

Edam - you are right and, living in a democracy, if another major party could come forward and say "this is a better way, a costed way of stabilising our economy whilst stimulating growth" we would all be seizing upon it, demanding elections, writing to our MPs and speaking out

But when the main opposition party throws their hands up and says either they disagree with the current cuts and would implement different ones at a slower pace (but offer no clarification on how this could work) or they throw their hands up and say sorry for their bad past decisions and spending or they admit they too will have to charge tuition fees at £6k and say we can never go back to pre recession levels of public spending then people can be forgiven for seeming to be "fooled" by the coalition (or settling more quietly for it than they would if a real alternative was on the cards)

When the opposition cannot offer an alternative that anyone believes in and when snippets of their plans are just as depressing as the current government's plans then people do start believing these cuts are necessary and they do lose faith in change when, against the most unpopular government policies for a generation, the opposition parties still can't cobble together anything vaguely workable for people to believe in instead.

breadandbutterfly Mon 26-Sep-11 18:57:24

Even if you argue that cuts need to be made - and the issue isn't that clear cut - the issue is where and how those cuts are made. Current cuts hit the poor and defenceless the most; the Tories wish to benefit the wealthy eg by removing the 50% tax rate - whilst simultaneously taking money from eg disabled children.

That is NOT an ecenomic decision, it is a political one, and it is that that seriously fucks off the average (non-loaded) British voter.

To pretend that the Tories have 'no choice' as to what they cut is to seriously underestimate the intelligence of the electorate. I know when I'm being done over, thank you. Don't ad insult to injury by lying and claiming it's actually all being done for my benefit. No, it bloody isn't.

niceguy2 Mon 26-Sep-11 21:34:22

The need for cuts is only not clear cut if you are a flat earther. Ie. someone who despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary still believes the world is flat. Or in this case that we can keep on borrowing.

However, I do agree that the Tories (and by extension the lib dems) can decide where to cut.

That is NOT an ecenomic decision, it is a political one

Actually I disagree. Economic theory holds that the lower the tax rate, the more money stays in the economy and thus people will hopefully spend it. Furthermore as debated to death here many times before, having a 50% tax rate psychologically sends out all the wrong signals to the very people we need to keep. The Laffer curve also demonstrates that at some point raising taxes no longer brings in more money, although the actual point at which this happens, you can happily debate.

Remember, the top 1% pay 25% of all income tax, the top 10% pay 50%. So economically speaking the average (non-loaded) british voter contributes very little. You think anyone will miss yours or my contribution? Not really. But we'll sorely miss the tax revenues from the bankers, senior execs and managers who either emigrate or choose not to come in the first place to the UK.

Politically speaking scrapping the 50% tax bracket is a non-starter since as it would "seriously fucks off the average (non-loaded) British voter". Plus its hard to argue that you need to cut CB for those earning more than £40k but lowering taxes for those earning > £150k.

The 50% tax rate is all about politics and little about economics.

niceguy2 Mon 26-Sep-11 21:36:17

Sorry the paragraph about lower the tax rate is a bit poorly worded. Basically I'm trying to say the more you tax people, the more it puts people off paying tax and working harder. There is a trade off. ie. Laffer Curve

ttosca Mon 26-Sep-11 22:04:48

niceguy-

Actually I disagree. Economic theory holds that the lower the tax rate, the more money stays in the economy and thus people will hopefully spend it.

This is literally nonsense. What do you think happens to taxed money? It's thrown in to wood fires? Of course not. It's spent employing people, building roads and repairing roads, providing healthcare, and welfare, amongst other things - all of which facilitate the smooth running of the economy and society, and without which a modern economy would not be possible.

There is a reason the we have a national healthcare system. It's because the ruling class finally caught on that it is better for everyone to pay taxes and have a national health service who can then provide for healthy citizens to work, rather than having a nation of physically ill citizens who may have to leave their job because they can't afford a simple operation.

Remember, the top 1% pay 25% of all income tax, the top 10% pay 50%. So economically speaking the average (non-loaded) british voter contributes very little. You think anyone will miss yours or my contribution? Not really. But we'll sorely miss the tax revenues from the bankers, senior execs and managers who either emigrate or choose not to come in the first place to the UK.

This is disingenuous. The top earners pay the most tax because they earn a disproportionate amount of money. Wealth inequality has not been this extreme in the UK since the Victorian times. It's disingenuous to complain that the King pays 90% of all tax, when he has 99.9999% of the wealth.

In fact, the share of the tax burdern has shifted steadily during the 20th Century from corporations to private individuals. This is for the US (Similar to the UK). Please have a look:

www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/04/corporate-tax-rates-then-and-now/

GE paid no taxes; Goldman Sachs paid $14 million last year. The GAO reported in 2008 that “two out of every three United States corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005.”

ttosca Mon 26-Sep-11 22:07:21

Sorry the paragraph about lower the tax rate is a bit poorly worded. Basically I'm trying to say the more you tax people, the more it puts people off paying tax and working harder. There is a trade off. ie. Laffer Curve

This theory is self-evident in the sense that 0% tax means 0 revenue and 100% also means 0 revenue. The problem is, nobody knows where the hell the optimal amount is. It's probably a very complicated equation based only country and circumstances at the time.

Whatever the top rate should be, it is clear the corporations are not paying their fare share. Furthermore, if anyone should have a tax break, it should be the lowest paid. No one on minimum wage should be paying tax.

smallwhitecat Mon 26-Sep-11 22:11:30

Message withdrawn

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now