Time for a catch up of the YouGov polling over the last few days. Questions on the emergency budget show some pretty negative expectations – 70% of people expect the budget to increase taxes paid by and/or reduce benefits paid to people like them, only 10% of people expect to avoid the cut.

In one sense, I suppose the Conservatives wouldn’t be worried by that – they would want people to be prepared for harsh measures. The other findings though indicate a lot of doubt about how they will be carried out. People were evenly split over whether the cuts will be carried out without harming front line services (34% think they will, 36% think they won’t). Almost half of respondents (49%) thought the cuts would not be fair in the way they affected rich and poor, with only 26% thinking they would be. Looking forward, 24% of people think the budget will put the country back into recession, 35% think it won’t, 41% don’t know.

We have the first government approval rating (as opposed to questions on whether people approve of the coalition). Not particularly meaningful yet of course, 34% of people reasonably enough say don’t know, but it’s a starting point – 43% approve, 23% disapprove.

On the Bill of Rights, 24% of people would like to keep the Human Rights Act, 53% of people would like to replace it with a British Bill of Rights. 61% of people think it is a good idea to set up a commission to look at it (though we can’t tell if people think it is a good idea compared to acting now, or a good idea compared to doing nothing).

Finally, perceptions of the party leaders – scroll down to page 7 and the questions on leader attributes for Cameron and Clegg (Brown has obviously stopped being asked about), and look at the way perceptions of them have shifted since the coalition deal. The big shifts for Cameron are more people seeing him as strong (30%, up from around 20% during the campaign) and decisive (32%, up from the low twenties during the campaign) being seen as good in a crisis is still his weakest rating, but is up to 13% from 10% during most of the campaign.

Clegg on the other hand has seen his ratings fall. On “sticks to what he believes in”, he is down to 19% from 27% before the election, honest is down to 28% from 32%, in touch down to 30% from 37%. Of course, the pre-election figures would still have had something of the Cleggmania about them, so while the deal has damaged perceptions of Clegg, he is still viewed more positively than before the leader debates (indeed, it’s possible the fall is due to the debate factor fading, rather than the coalition. We’ll never know).


115 Responses to “Budget, human rights and leader ratings”

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  1. As you say the Tories can’t really complain about any of this, though it (unsurprisingly) doesn’t show a wave of enthusiasm behind them. The LDs must be a bit frustrated that being in government seems to be at best neutral for them, but both parties have time to improve their image. I’m getting surprisingly used to David Laws as Chancellor #2 (I would say Vice-Chancellor, but that sounds like he is still at university).

  2. Budgets traditionally cost the governing party a few % in the polls. (PBR and Budgets have cost the governmnet support in 9 out of the last 10 occasions). I fully expect Labour to lead in the post budget polls. Something like 36% Reds 35% blues is quite likely.

    I would not like to hazzard a guess as to how low the 43% approval rating might fall.

    Bearing in mind 59% of People supported these two parties, 43% is quite a low starting point.

    I see now evidence of a ‘honeymoon’ period. And things will only get worse.

  3. With the usual “it’s early days yet” disclaimer, these look like very positive results to me considering that the election result was not great for supporters of any of the major parties. The predicted mass fury and defection of Lib Dems seems not to have happened and the 23% disapproval share is lower than the Labour support level which suggests that even around a third of Labour supporters are at least willing to give the Coalition a chance.

  4. “The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revised down the amount borrowed by the government last year from £163.4bn to £156bn.

    Borrowing was £5.5bn lower than previously thought in March, the statistics agency added.

    Borrowing for April was £10bn – also lower than expected by many economists.

    The figures will provide some good news for the new government, which views bringing down the budget deficit as a priority. ”
    ht tp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/10136055.stm

  5. Ash – Alec just posted these figures on he last thread and I responded to say Blanchflower is venomous about Osborne today (possibly to be expected, but still) comes close to begging him not to cut in light of these figures.

  6. That 118 MPs rejected their leader’s reform of the Conservative (Private) Members Committee or ‘1922 Committee’ reflects a certain amount of anxiety or instability within the party. It is possible the lack of a positive honeymoon indicates that the electorate is still unsure, or senses something brittle about these new coalition arrangements.

  7. 22% of LD voters disapprove of the coalition govt, with 46% approving, 32% unsure.

    Seems a surprisingly high figure for disapproval for getting into government for the first time and doesn’t chime with the supposed ringing endorsement from their special conference. NC cearly has to work to do to convince over half his voters that the coalition is going to work for them.

    DC has less to fear if only 9% of Con voters are disapproving.

  8. I was surprised at the negative response to the coalition, perhaps because the agreement challenges deep-rooted assumptions & that is uncomfortable. Whether their is a honeymoon or not might depend on how long the voters take to get used to The New Politics & whether the cuts hit first.

  9. @Woodsman,

    I have been to ‘special party convetions’ before. i know how they work. It would not at all surprise me that they managed a ringing endorsement even though there is wider party unease.

    1. Each local party would select a number of delegates (usually 2) and instruct them how to vote.

    2. IF a local party favoured the deal by 51% to 49% then it would instruct BOTH of its delegates to vote in favour of the deal at the special party conference.

    3. On rare occasions the delegate defies his party. On others they are instructed to abstain.

    4. If even 1 delegates voted against the deal that would be news in its own merit.

    the net result of this is that unease at the party’s base is HIDDEN

    ________________________________________

    Also, when one considers that 168 MPs in the 1922 Committee favoured Cameron, it is very surprising that it was not much higher.

    1. With powers of patronage and ministerial appointments the gov. can reasonably expect the automatic loyalty of c.80 MPs.

    2. Leaving aside the Cameron cuties and new MPs who may owe their selection and subsequent election to Cameron we may conclude that a MAJORITY of those who exercised independant judgement disagree with their leaders move.

    3. One might be inclined to say that about a third of backbanch MPs favoured their leaders move.

    _______________________________________

    Given that just 43% of the public support a coalition which attracted 59% of the electorate. It is not unreasonable to conclude that there is

    1. No bounce
    2. No honeymonn
    3. No mandate

  10. @ Sue Marsh

    The Cambridge Centre for Business Research also seems to be arguing that the rationale for big cuts are not strong (Wolf in today’s FT even reference it).

    However, I’m not sure how it is communicated to the voters (if they know it at all, or the noise of cut suppresses this). I also think that the markets would be happy with some cuts – so the question is if GO can restrain his ideological attitude…

  11. FTSE falls below 5000

  12. Eoin – re 1922

    Certainly cracks are being papered over rather hastily. How long lasting the decorator’s job is remains to be seen.

  13. “It is possible the lack of a positive honeymoon indicates that the electorate is still unsure, or senses something brittle about these new coalition arrangements.”

    No, it’s because the public know the massive tax rises/spending cuts are coming. Nothing to get excited about given the scale of the deficit/financial crisis.

  14. Matt,

    The government wanted to get rid of £6b this year.
    The downgrading of the debt this morning more or less achieves that.

    The scale seems to me less important than the messgae the gov. wish to send.

    For instance if it was desirebale to get to c.£151bn then why not announce £11-12bn cuts this year?

    Had this morning’s news undershot borriwng by £20bn would there still be need for £6bn this year>?

    The question therefore is this; which is the biggest driver behind the emerg. budget, ideology or economics?

  15. @Billy Bob
    “It is possible the lack of a positive honeymoon indicates that the electorate is still unsure, or senses something brittle about these new coalition arrangements.”

    Hard to disagree with this. I sense something brittle about this government, and I’m a member of the smaller party in it. There’s just a bit too much rhetoric for my liking. While I do still think that the 55% vote thing is a non-issue, all this talk of New Politics and Great Reform Bill and “you’ve read 100 manifestos but never one like this” and “the greatest reform in 150 years” and “let’s castrate the 1922 committee” sounds a bit too Brave New World for my liking. Shades of Great Leap Forward and Five-year Plans and Ministry of Truth.

    Meanwhile, my hopes that the coalition would decisively deal with issues like the West Lothian question and sensible reform of the HoL (as opposed to knee-jerk 100% elected through list system) are fading. And it’s hard to see the logic for Osborne still obsessing about a measly $6bn this year after the revised figures for 2009/10.

    So while I still put my hopes in the coalition making a difference, and proving the LD case for coalition politics, my faith is certainly not as strong as it was a week or two ago. That said, I look at the alternative and remain convinced that Labour have some way to go to make themselves electable again.

  16. Anthony,

    “Of course, the pre-election figures would still have had something of the Cleggmania about them, so while the deal has damaged perceptions of Clegg, he is still viewed more positively than before the leader debates (indeed, it’s possible the fall is due to the debate factor fading, rather than the coalition. We’ll never know).”
    ___________________

    It’s very condensed. So many factors – could be Clegg, could be the people, could be the questions asked, could be time effect, could be autocorrelation (e.g. Cameron effect on Clegg).

    Could feed a debate for a very long time.

  17. @ Eion Clarke

    Yes, it (FTSE under 5000) is somewhat disturbing. But looking at the P/E values – I don’t think it is out of mark (although obviously the main reason is that the markets are rattled).

  18. @Laszlo,

    i thought talk of a double dip by reds was rhetoric. I thought Gordy had more or less got them through it.

    But with RPI c.5% and now the FTSE under 5,000 i am beginning to get cold feet.

    I supported the NI cut for example. Corp cuts and CT freezes seemed common sensical.

    I do wonder though….. how are we going to control inflation?

  19. @Eoin,

    “For instance if it was desirebale to get to c.£151bn then why not announce £11-12bn cuts this year?”

    Because – like other parties, including Labour – it doesn’t want to reveal massive cuts in its first year of government. Quite simply it doesn’t want to be popular just yet XD.

    “The question therefore is this; which is the biggest driver behind the emerg. budget, ideology or economics?”

    Every government has a budget shortly after being elected. This very fact was mentioned on the news recently – nothing new in this. The phrase ’emergency budget’ is used for rhetorical effect – it sounds decisive XD.

  20. Correction: *unpopular*

  21. Forgive me as I can no get the read the details myself.

    Is not the question re the debt whether the 10/11 projections are also changed downwars fro he figures which lead to the conclusion cuts this yesar are necessary?

    The 09/10 numbers being lower may or may not indicate a lower structural defiecit.
    The undershoot in terms of overall National Debt is insignificant.
    FWIW my own view is that cuts this year are not necessary but GO’s position is about showing a willingness (a signal to markets etc) that tough action can be taken.

  22. @Jim Jam,

    The economic growth figures have not been as good as previous Labour budgets forecast. It has to be said that many independent economists disagreed with these forecasts, so it wasn’t exactly unexpected XD.

  23. @Matt,

    The polling data had some encouraging news on the proposed 6bn cuts. This is a much higher figure in support of the cuts than pre-election. Thus, I suppose it makes sense to go ahead with them whether they are now absolutely necessary or not.

    Might make sense to use up some of that good will towards cuts, while it still exists.

    Privately, it confirms the opinion of many that ideology has a prominent role to play in the venture. Whether or not that is a good thing or not is not my place to say. Not least because national deficit reducation is an personal anethema ;)

  24. @ Eoin

    My anxiety about the double dip for some time comes not from cuts (though could be important), but the unwillingness to invest (in other than replenishing inventories) and the uncertainties in the markets obstructing new issuance of shares (in capital market based systems). We certainly do not see the type of feverish investment growth that characterises the ends of deep recessions. More like the 1930s, although I’m still not convinced by the matching parallel with that recession.

    Inflation could be a major problem – I agree (the US figures helped my anxiety in that a bit). It could affect in all kinds of ways (interest rate increase while downward pressure on wages – drop in demand, inflating national debt, changing business behaviours, effects on the pound, etc.).

  25. @Laszlo,

    Interesting.

    One feature which would give the appearance of a 1930s recovery was the incentivsing of private manufacturing, particular in the automobile industry.

    Also, it has been less accepted the extent to which government rearmament contracts and public works investements ultimatley dragged the economies then out of a hole…

    Is now the time to withdraw the public sector from the playing field?

  26. The problem with the approval ratings of the actual UK coalition is that nobody proposed it BEFORE the GE. In France, where I vote, everybody knows that voting for the Greens or the Lefties means voting for a coalition with the Socialists, if the alliance gets a majority in the second round of the GE, and voting for a minor right-wing party such as the Nouveau Centre or the MPF means voting for a coalition with the major center-right party (currently the UMP). In other EU countries where there is a variant of PR, the voters know in most cases which will be the privileged potential partners of the party they vote for, either major or minor. What the UK needs is, IMO, the development of a coalition culture that does not exist yet because of FPTP and overall majorities

  27. Eoin,

    On the budget deficit, the plan is to eliminate the structural deficit (as opposed to the cyclical component). That has been estimated at up to £90bn.

    The idea that it was impossible to even make a start this year was always weak. Equally, nobody ever suggested we should go the whole hog and bring the budget back into surplus asap.

    Ergo, it makes little difference if the actual deficit for 09/10 turned out to be £150bn, £160bn or £170bn. That is still £70-100bn too much. If we start from a lower base, then that makes the task of reducing the overall deficit sooner simpler.

    It is desirable to eliminate the structural deficit. It is the rate at which this can practically be achieved which is open to discussion. Chopping at about 5-10% of the structural element p.a is arguably too slow, but one has to be realistic as to both what can be achieved and what it costs (in non-monetary terms) to achieve it.

    I am sure that GO will welcome the opportunity to bring forward the date by which the structural element is eliminated bacause only then will there be scope to implement growth promoting tax cuts.

    It is only if one subscribes to the notion that govt spending equals output that reductions in spending are undesirable.

  28. @Paul H J,

    It seems fairly logical and principled. The old fashioned Keynsian in me views it from afar. I suppose it is a harmelss venture if it is not done too quick or to the detriment of ordinary folk.

    How much does unemployment matter? That to me seems a key question.

    Would a figure of 3million unemployed keep you awake at night?

  29. @ Eoin

    I started to write a paper on changes in the US business model a few month ago with a colleague – my part was the 1930-1960 period. There was certainly a major threat of the second dip in the second half of the 1930s (1937 in the US, 1935 in Germany).

    Yes, there is debate about the extent of public works and preparations for the war – the data itself is quite inconclusive (partly because it’s possible to “reconstruct” the data to prove anything). It seems to me that in the US targeted public works (Tennessee valley is the most well known) had the largest impact (although again the multiplicator is questionable).

    The advocates of this argue that there was two phases of New Deal: 1) general increase in aggregate demand (printing money, governent debt, devaluation), which although stopped the crisis, did not solve the problem, because private business did not become active, hence the threat of the second dip; 2) The government became a major investor and customer (through projects and orders).

    Well, P. Mandelson’s attempts in the last 18-20 months come into mind.

  30. @ Paul H-J

    It is well argued. I agree.

    Interestingly the Cambridge Centre for Business Research puts a very different argument forward. I really cannot decide if I’m convinced by their argument, however, there is an interesting conclusion when one looks at their, the government’s, IFS’s calculations.

    It seems to me that the structural deficit is an outcome variable in these models and then they try to develop the policy for this residual variable. However, then it woud depend on the assumptions about the input variables and also on the assumption that the residual is purely structural deficit and that there is nothing else in it.

  31. @Laszlo,

    Yes I had Lord Peter in mind when i suggested it.

    But I wonder with Trident, Nuke stations, Euro Fighters, Runways, Aircraft Carriers and the 2012 Olympics to what extent Capital expenditure will be missed if a lot of these are shelved?

    I know that bio-tech, light rail etc remain but with investment beyond stock replenishment at a minimal and house building seemingly stagnant where do we propose to get our growth from?

    Pharmacuticals, Oil and Banks seem to me more important than ever. I for one won’t be bashing them.

  32. @Laszlo,

    How important was self sufficiency, or at least drives to ahcieve it, in the 1930s?

    Autarky springs to mind….

  33. RE: Cuts

    It was amazing to hear Michael Portillo last night robustly defending no cuts whatsoever to the NHS budget. He said the NHS is under enough pressure from rising demand, technical innovations that cost rather than save money & industry sector inflation that exceeds RPI.

    He also refused to agree that there are too many admin staff in the NHS. Truly a ‘through the looking glass’ moment. 8-)

  34. @ Eoin

    Yes, some will be (there is a fallacy that all expenditure cut is saving and also that all improductive spending has no productive effect – of course it does not mean legitimising mad spending).

    In the last half a year RDAs were told to do studies on clusters and supply chains (including international chains) in various industries (biotech (plus chemical industry), engineering (automotives, aerospace), food) with the prospective of government policy to support these. I wonder what will happen with these at the light of the coalition agreement…

  35. @Matt & Jim Jam – aside from the better deficit figures, there is a questionmark over growth and deficit projections for 2010. However, at the 2009 budget, Osborne and many city commentators derided Darling for both his growth forecasts and the deficit projections, with Osborne firmly stating he believed the £178B projection would turn out to be in excess of £200B.

    While darling got the growth figures wrong, he in the end turned out to be overly pessimistic about the deficit by £22B or about 1.6% GDP. Osborne clearly has a vested interest in making the situation appear worse than it is, but the big risk in him doing this is that for the sake of political positioning he will be forced to cut too much and worsen the problem.

    This is where I’m not sure about the wisdom of an Office of Budget Responsibility. In the end, darling should be applauded for being very cautious, not the charge of reckless spending the coalition is trying to make. Essentially growth and deficit forecasts require judgements, and these are inevitably political to some extent. While there is the risk of an elected politician veering towards self interest, that’s why we have the judgement of elections. There is no evidence to say that the independent OBR would have come out with any different figures from the Treasury, and lots to suggest it might have plumped for the £200B figure and left us in an almighty mess with no democratic comeback.

    The risk is that the OBR will impose market orthodocy on a democratically elected government. What we have learned in the last three years is that very often, market orthodoxy is wildly wrong and very simply needs to be challenged. Only good governments can do this, and it’s our job to select them, but the best governments may be hamstrung by the OBR if it is constructed to reflect a discredited financial hegemoney.

  36. @ Alec

    I believe the Office of Budget Responsibility should be renamed the the Office for Dodging Budget Responsibility.

    There are hints being dropped that, despite above target inflation, the Banks are pushing for more QE ahead of any government instruction re. business lending. Osborne appears to have either surrendered (or lost?) control of the economy & we are only 2 weeks into this coalition.

  37. BBC Radio 4 programme ‘more or less’ had a discussion of why the LDs did less well at the GE than even the eve-of-poll opinion polls. Should be available on iPlayer soon. Conclusion: essentially a lot of people who said they would vote LD were always relatively likely to change their votes or not vote at all, since the ‘Cleggmania’ boost was made up of previously undecided voters, or those who previously weren’t going to vote.

  38. On the economic front GO is going to play his trump card in the budget the total cost of PFI, and he will get it pinned on Lab firmly at the height of their Leadership battle.

    PFI repayments being a disaster will be something GO and Vince Cable can agree on and it could well last the political test of time as it will hit LAB a lot harder, while the coalition are producing the Austerity years

  39. @ Amber

    Was someone up late last night, slouched on the sofa, drinking some nice hot co-co watching the fabulous ‘This Week’ :D LOL.

    Yeah, i saw that when Portillo was actually in total agreement with Diane Abbott (SHOCK HORROR!!! LOL) that the NHS is already in huge financial pressure not only from drug costs (which the Tories seem to think this will be the finanical bullet to solve the NHS inflation/spending, which is not) but also from other medical instruments. You only have to look across the pond to america to see how much its costing them for new beds, new technology, etc. etc.

    And for the Tories to say that NHS management and managers are the sole problem is also a very unrealistic argument. At the end of the day, we need professionals, who have that professional experiance, management experiance to control the day to day running of the NHS.

    I agree that their is probably to many of them but if your going to cut it by the third 1) i believe the NHS would save no more than a £1bn (which is a lot but as the whole the NHS is concerned is just spare change) and 2) cutting it by that many will just dry up and lower management standards of the NHS.

    Its also a reason why I am a little concerned about having elected PCT members on because as my dad says “justs because they are good in feathering their langauage and can promise you the earths gold, doesn’t mean they can be up for the job”. And my dad is a socialist but even he says that democracy has its limits.

  40. @Amber Star – I think you’re being a little unfair on GO there. While he made many wrong calls in opposition, he can’t be blamed for much after just a couple of weeks. Neither he, (nor Darling) can be blamed for the mess in Euroland, which is the main reason why the UK recovery has remained patchy. In time I will hold GO to account, for better or worse, but I’ll give him a fair wind for a little while longer.

    @Cliff – pinning the blame for PFI on Labour would be justified only if we get the accurate picture. About three years ago there were high level discussions between the big construction firms and the Treasury, as the private sector was struggling to meet their profit targets from PFI and wanted contracts renegotiated. To their great credit, the government shrugged their shoulders and effectively told them to go and read the small print.

    While some PFI deals were poorly negotiated and not good value for money, many others squeezed the suppliers margins and placed all the risk onto the private sector, with the result that the taxpayer did not see large cost overuns and in some cases got cash back if delivery was delayed. I’ve read a number of reports suggesting the PFI model (but not always the practice) was the best single innovation in government procurement in terms of transferring risk and protecting the taxpayer from suppliers oft used tactics of upping the cost mid project and effectively ransoming the government to pay. If PFI had been employed in defence procurement over the last 40 years we probably wouldn’t have a budget deficit…

    As with all these issues, we rarely see the positive press coverage when government initiatives go well. In time, the Tories will also suffer from this, but for now the battle is to secure the ‘legacy debate’ for both sides. The Tories in 1979 were very good at tarnishing Labour’s record from 1974, and effectively managed to bury the fact that Callaghan inherited an almighty inflationary mess from Heath and Barbour alongside the oil crisis and actually did rather well all things considered. This time they will be very keen to do the same, but the signifiacnt improvement on public services, poverty and crime since 97 will give Labour some potential weapons of their own when things get tough.

  41. @ Eion Clarke @ 1:27

    Autarky was certainly very important in Germany.

    In the US it’s more complicated. Most of the 1920s growth came from US private lending to other countries for buying US goods (and services). The devaluation of the dollar (and changes in the convertibility rules) were protectionist measures (with a few more regulations), but very early on the Roosevelt administration launched a campaign for making bilateral treaties on exports and imports. These were quite successful, but there were fewer results in multilateral treaties (especially as the US could not aree with the UK). So, in the US it was not really autarky, although sometimes it was sold like that for domestic media consumption.

  42. @Amber Star – further to Dave & George in Euroland, I have this recurring image in my mind that, for sound, UK based economic reasons, the government eventually steps in to help secure the situation in the Eurozone. The ultimate irony, and I’d love to see Bill Cash’s face if it ever happens.

  43. @ Amber Star @ 1:50

    Wonderfully put :-). Expresses percisely the “policy”.

  44. @ Andrew Chandler

    Yes, it would be interesting to see if the coalition tried to break the gentlemen’s agreement with the pharmaceutical industry (high cost of medicine in exchange of a defined proportion of turnover spent in the UK on R&D).

  45. @ Alec

    Yes, there is a huge variance in the meaningfulness of PFI and PPP. It varies case by case and sector by sector. But it won’t obstruct the politcians (on both sides) and the press to play this (twist it). The French did an academic study on their equivalent of PFI and they got to the same conclusion (case by case).

  46. @ Eoin – “Given that just 43% of the public support a coalition which attracted 59% of the electorate. It is not unreasonable to conclude that there is”

    Actually it is unreasonable. The Coalition attracted 0% of the electorate. It wasn’t on the ballot papers as an option. Conservative voters wanted the Conservatives to win outright. Lib Dems wanted the Lib Dem surge to uphold and carry them into Opposition. And Labour voters hoped against hope that the polls were wrong and they could somehow still win. The Coalition was nobody’s desired outcome; it was the result of making the best of a messy situation. As such, the relatively low proportion of unfavourable responses in the polls is surprising and rather pleasing.

  47. @Alec

    The situation is (as an ex Govt Contract bod myself I can’t be 100% sure without seeing the deal) but within the employment sector whenever a company that had a contract failed to make it to the end, then the cost was picked up by the tax payer, and not just the contract costs but all other liabilities too because they had been procured on the basis of contract gaurantees
    eg length of time etc. within the original deal.

    So if a PFI company falls by the wayside, or defaults from lack of return the Govt will have to step in….
    see National Express railway co, and network rail for example……..plus of course a local hospital will be too important to fail ala Northern Rock

  48. @ Laszlo

    Yeah, the Tory-Libs will have to pull up a mighty fight if they are to be serious about forcing the drug companies to lower their prices which I think will eventually be the final nail in the coffin for businesses who feel they have lost their Tory party and some backbenchers might end up regrouping an anti-Cameron group.

    But I think the real problem will arise when the coalition will try and force through reforms to have elected PCT members and police commissioners. I always take the view that something doesn’t need to run efficently by making it more democratic. Surely, thats the whole reason we have an elected government. And while it seems appealing to have this whole power to the people langauge, in certain cases it takes professionals with real experiance to solve these problems and not just…oh, id have him round for tea, i’d vote for him doing the work. Also, it could leads having a two-tier system in a police and hospitals.

  49. @Eoin, you wrote that “Bearing in mind 59% of People supported these two parties, 43% is quite a low starting point.”

    It was 59% of voters, which — given the turnout — is probably fairly close to 43% of the electoral roll.

    However, the people polled by YouGov includes people not on the electoral roll, so the percentage of the YouGov survey panel that voted in favour of the coalition must be smaller still.

  50. @Eoin

    “Matt,

    The government wanted to get rid of £6b this year.
    The downgrading of the debt this morning more or less achieves that.

    The scale seems to me less important than the messgae the gov. wish to send.

    For instance if it was desirebale to get to c.£151bn then why not announce £11-12bn cuts this year?

    Had this morning’s news undershot borriwng by £20bn would there still be need for £6bn this year>?

    The question therefore is this; which is the biggest driver behind the emerg. budget, ideology or economics?”

    The issue is clear – let’s get rid of this bloomin’ debt ASAP!

    Seeing as we don’t want to see the weakest in society suffer through hasty cuts that are not thought-out, we can thank the government for limiting it to only £6bn this year – though if they can get rid of more this year without causing more pain than it will next year, say, then let’s do it.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s £63bn or£163 bn (or £156.5bn) – LET’S GET RID OF THIS NOOSE as soon as practically possible. It’s going to hurt, but if it won’t hurt this year more than next year or the year after, on average, then let’s do it now – and reassure the markets that Britain is still open to business and growth after all.

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