26 June 2012
A majority of voters believe restrictions on housing benefit and disability benefits are necessary according to a poll published today, commissioned by Centreground Political Communications and undertaken by pollsters YouGov.
Housing benefit, disability and child benefit cuts deemed necessary – but 50p top rate cut not thought necessary
- A majority (51 per cent) in our poll said restrictions on housing benefit and disability benefits were necessary. But while Conservative voters were very likely to say they were necessary (73 per cent), Labour voters were not (35 per cent).
- By contrast, restrictions on child benefit for households with a higher rate taxpayer were seen as necessary by 72 per cent of the public – including 68 per cent of Labour voters.
- But all the spending cut measures were more often judged necessary than the Government’s tax increases – the increase in VAT (27 per cent) and the so-called “granny tax” (32 per cent). However, the 50p tax cut was deemed necessary by only 23 per cent of those polled.
Are voters ready for cuts all the way to 2020?
- After warnings from the Cabinet Secretary last week that cuts may last until 2020, our poll finds 33 per cent of the public expecting that most of the cuts are still to come – while 18 per cent think they are largely complete.
- Our poll tested two different ways of justifying the government’s tax rises and spending cuts (1) that there is no alternative or (2) that they are “the right choice for the country’s future”. Using split samples, it was possible to identify a small but consistent advantage to a message based on the future – statements based on the future received a few more percentage points in support, almost across the board.
Centreground Political Communications Chief Executive Darren Murphy said
“The public are convinced of the need to make some difficult choices to reduce Britain’s deficit for the future – although perhaps not as far into the future as some in government predict. David Cameron’s political strategists should be telling him that public support depends on the government sounding less defensive: making a case for deficit reduction as a choice about Britain’s future, not just as a necessary evil, as the Coalition sometimes does.”
Notes to editors
1. Full poll results are available here.
2. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,716 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th – 18th June 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
3. Centreground Political Communications Ltd are an international campaigns consultancy specialising in understanding people’s views and values and designing communications strategies and campaigns to win, hold and lead popular opinion. Built around a team of senior strategists who worked with Prime Minister Tony Blair, our mission today is to help our clients—political, corporate and charitable—find the centre ground and win it convincingly to their cause.
4. Darren Murphy is the chief executive of Centreground Political Communications Ltd. He spent eight years as a special adviser in Tony Blair’s New Labour government, including as political communications adviser to the Prime Minister, working inside government as well as on Labour’s successful 1997, 2001 and 2005 campaigns. After leaving the government, he spent six years as a political consultant, specialising in services to governments, advising heads of state and government, party and political leaders in Europe, Africa and Asia on political strategy, elections, campaigns and strategic communications.