George Osborne may have performed reverses on the “pasty tax” and “caravan tax” last night, but it’s on austerity the public really wants a U-turn.
A ComRes poll for today’s Independent shows 72 per cent of the public believe it’s high time the Tory-led government U-turned on its flagship austerity mission and underwent a fundamental change of emphasis, so that coalition policy is focused more on promoting growth and less on cuts. Seventeen per cent disagree on a U-turn and 11 per cent don’t know.
Most strikingly, as the charts below illustrate, 64 per cent of 2010 Tory voters and 68 per cent of 2010 Lib Dem voters support a U-turn, as do 86 per cent of 2010 Labour voters.
Overall, Labour leads the Conservatives by eight points, down two on the last ComRes telephone poll for the Indy in March. Ed Miliband’s party is now on 42 per cent (down one point), David Cameron’s Tories are on 34 per cent (up one point), and Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats are on 11 per cent (unchanged) with others on 13 per cent.
And it wasn’t just on pasties and caravans the government U-turned last night, but on plans for ‘secret justice’, with justice secretary Ken Clarke saying inquests won’t now be held behind closed doors, and in future allowing judges, not politicians, to decide whether a civil case should be kept out of the public eye.
With the coalition in U-turning mood, is it too much to expect Mr Osborne to give the nation a Jubilee present and change course on the biggest issue of all?