Big increase since election in those saying cuts are unfair

The number of people of who believe the government's cuts are unfair has nearly doubled since the election, polling data from YouGov shows, while there is also a big rise in those who believe the cuts are bad for the economy.

The number of people of who believe the government’s cuts are unfair has nearly doubled since the election, polling data from YouGov shows, while there is also a big rise in those who believe the cuts are bad for the economy, and a slight increase in those likely to suffer from cuts in spending on frontline services. On the speed and severity of the cuts, meanwhile, significantly more people believe them to be too deep and too quick than too shallow and too slow.

False Economy report today:

Fairness: “Immediately after the election only one in three said they were unfair. Now that has gone to almost two in three. That is a big shift.”

Impact on frontline services: “YouGov ask whether you are likely to ‘suffer directly from cuts in spending on public services such as health, education and welfare’. This seems a pretty fair definition of frontline services.

“…ministers have never won this argument. From the word go around 70 per cent have expected to suffer from the cuts. It’s increased a little perhaps, but it has been remarkably consistent.”

Impact on economy: “The government message is that cutting public spending gives room to the private sector to drive an export-led recovery.

“This chart reports those who say that the cuts are bad for the economy. It was about one in three before the election, but is now over half. It’s not quite as dramatic as the shift in fairness, but is still a big shift.”

Impact-of-the-cuts-on-the-economy-poll-07-03-11
On the speed and severity of the cuts, though a majority believe them to be necessary (by 55%-33%), 50% believe them to be too deep, with only 6% thinking they are too shallow and 27% saying they are about right, and 58% believe them to be taking place too quickly, against only 5% who say they are being done too slowly, and 26% who say they are about right.

At the turn of the year, Sunder Katwala wrote about how the government had lost the fairness argument, citing YouGov data on the net fairness rating of the cuts since June which showed a steady downward trend. Today’s figures provide further evidence for that claim.

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