Majority of public want to maintain or increase welfare spending, according to new poll

The public want more, not less, spent on welfare, the NHS and education, according to a new poll by ComRes for ITV.

A majority of the public want to maintain current welfare spending or see it increased, according to the latest index poll by ComRes for ITV News.

Seventy one per cent of those questioned also said spending on the NHS should increase between now and 2015, with 54 per cent saying more should be spent on education during the same period.

Most surprisingly of all considering the media’s portrayal of welfare claimants as ‘scroungers’, the survey found that 43 per cent of those polled wanted to see more money spent on welfare between now and 2015, with 29% saying spending should be the same and 27% saying less should be spent.

Just over half of respondents (54%) said the government should spend more on the police and law enforcement, but a large majority (77%) wanted less money spent on international aid.

The public were divided as to whether the government should increase spending on defence, with a third (33%) saying defence spending should increase and a similar proportion saying it should stay the same (36%). A third (31%) said it should decrease.

ComRes interviewed 2,050 British adults online between 1-3 February 2013

To what extent do you think that the Government should increase or decrease spending on each of the following areas between now and 2015?

Area Increase (6-10) Keep spending the same (5) Decrease (0-4) Net Increase (minus decrease)










Police & law enforcement




















Public sector pensions





Local government





International aid






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30 Responses to “Majority of public want to maintain or increase welfare spending, according to new poll”

  1. Julian

    Is it really a surprise that people say they want more money spent on virtually everything? Did the poll ask where the money should come from? I didn’t think so.

  2. Newsbot9

    Yes, it is a surprise. And hm…we could tax companies and the rich. Given their current voluntary tax status.

  3. James Holloway

    ‘Local government’ is an opaque category. If it had been made clear that this involves social care including personal care for some of the most vulnerable people in society then the proportion of people calling for an increase would be significantly more.

  4. blarg1987

    I think some things need to be reclassified, things like housing benefit and some tax credits should be classed as subsidies to private companies unwilling to pay people enough money to live a reasonable lifestyle, I knoe resonable is open to interpritation.

    Once that happens it would be interesting to see how the right would tackle this issue, they could not call for abolishing the minimum wage as that would be political suicide and to appear tough they would want to reduce benefits but it might cost them their funding I wonder which would be more important.

  5. Eeeek

    Yes, Britain has a real cash flow problem. Perhaps if a few loopholes could be tied up i.e. ultra massive multi national corporations paying a fair share of tax, tax avoidance schemes closed down instead of concentrating all the effort in to making sure little people are paying a third of their earnings to the government, we would definitely have enough surplus to afford all the public spending. Before starting to regurgitate all the sh1te about “We are broke, how can we afford it?” ask yourself why so many tax cuts have been given to the rich (who don’t really need them) and ask why our government doesn’t see it necessary to chase up those big firms making massive profits and paying s0d all taxes!

    If big companies paid as much tax as an individual worker pays PAYE, Britain would be the wealthiest country in the world.

  6. LeonC

    Cash flow problem, what problem cameron admitted yesterday in india that the UK is the 6th largest economy they is no cash problem it is baloney and could be ended overnight it is nothing more than an exercise to divert cash from the poorest to the wealthiest

  7. John Sydenham

    This just shows that the public have not been fully informed about the fact that public spending cannot be increased. Labour is to blame for endlessly repeating that the government owns a magic porridge pot and can just cure our problems by spending more. The historical record is clear, there is an inverse relationship between increasing public spending and private sector growth. There are some charts at Sydenham’s Law of public expenditure and economic growth. The real history trumps any theories and models.

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