The Times have a new YouGov poll in tomorrow’s paper, conducted after Wednesday’s budget. It’s not good news for George Osborne.

Every budget has positive and negative parts, and it’s the same here: some parts of Osborne’s budget are popular, some aren’t. Increasing the personal allowance is popular (83% say its a good idea), as is cracking down on international tax avoidance (81%), freezing fuel duty (74%) and the sugar tax (62%). People are more divided over the increase to the higher rate threshold (46% say it’s good, but 37% the wrong priority), and are negative about the cut in corporation tax (32% good idea, 43% wrong priority). The worst ratings are for the cuts to disability benefits for people reliant on aids or appliances. Only 13% of people support the disability cuts, 70% think they are the wrong priority at the present time, including 59% of Tory voters.

Budgets are more than just the sum of their parts of course. After each budget YouGov ask the same question about whether people think the budget was fair or unfair, this year 28% thought the budget was fair, 38% unfair. Both of last year’s budgets were seen as more fair than unfair, so were the budgets of 2014 and 2013 (past figures are all here). You have to go all the way back to 2012 to find the last time an Osborne budget was seen as unfair… the omnishambles budget. That is not a good precedent.

Meanwhile voting intention stands at CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 16%. This is very much in line with the ICM poll earlier in the week that had Labour and Conservatives equal. People were understandably wary of reading too much into one poll, but we now have two polls both showing Labour and the Conservatives neck-and-neck, suggesting something is genuinely afoot.


548 Responses to “YouGov/Times budget polling”

1 8 9 10 11
  1. @Neil A – “The pressure for the Treasury not to back down I suppose is a result of the deteriorating international economic picture and the effect on their financial forecasts.”

    Naughty naughty! The OBR say that the deterioration is mainly due to declining UK productivity, declining to join Osbonre in blaming everyone else.

    Also interested in your notion that Labour will be looking for steep tax rises next time, so Tories shouldn’t bother trying to fund tax giveaways. You might well be correct, but I do find it interesting that Osborne shied away from significant reform of pension tax reliefs. He may return to this post referendum, but perhaps not if his key ambition is to lead his party, but there are some enormous fiscal benefits to be made here, and possibly electoral returns, o the party that can craft a workable policy here.

    Initiating a flat rate tax relief of 25% would increase pension savings for 85% of working age people and save £6B a year, which is a very significant chunk.

  2. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    :” I think the political ramifications across Europe will be quite significant after this.”

    I agree.

    It is beginning to look like Belgium has been a haven for jihadists, and the “Security” forces of Europe, despite much vaunted EU cross border co-operation” haven’t been on top of it.

  3. ALEC

    @”The OBR say that the deterioration is mainly due to declining UK productivity, ”

    They do -with the caveat that ” this judgement remains highly uncertain” !!!

  4. TOH

    Yes I’m a pensioner and proof that not everyone becomes more right wing as they get older.
    Thinking about your position – you say you’re not a conservative – I think you’re a deficit ideologue. You just want a smaller state and feel comfortable about stingent cuts to welfare because your own circumstances mean you and your family will not be adversely affected.
    I’m off to choose a new car to take my new powered wheelchair.
    Have a good day.

  5. Morning all, another tragic day in Brussels. It would be refreshing if politicians would reflect on why crazed lunatics think it’s a good idea to blow up commuters and holiday makers, but I fear that the “more guns, more security, more police” brigade will win – and so do those who show nothing but contempt for our way of life. Remember, Salah Abdeslam was born in Brussels, of Moroccan descent – is it unreasonable to ask what led to him fighting on behalf of ISIS?

    I’ll only briefly comment on the budget this morning, as events elsewhere will undoubtedly overwhelm the issue. A major plank of the Conservative economic platform has been deficit reduction – however, if there’s an unwillingness to touch health, education, defence and pensions, while at the same time lowering corporation tax and capital gains tax, and increasing the personal allowances, there comes a point where the sums fail to add up. And despite the protestations, the promised budget surplus only arises due to rearranging outgoings and incomings, as well as a series of unguaranteed tax increases and unspecified spending cuts. That’s not just me saying it, it was spelled out in detail by the OBR (I quoted directly from their presentation).

    To be fair to TOH, he’s firm in saying that cuts should have been made in all areas. But the problem about discussing wastage in welfare (which undoubtedly exists), is that no-one seems able or willing to pinpoint that wastage in such a way that it would actually save significant amounts of money. Another irony, alluded to earlier in the thread, is that a lot of welfare cash in terms of housing benefit and PIPs, will end up in the hands of private concerns.

    Anyway, that’s enough for now, thoughts today are with the people of Belgium, and also those elsewhere who suffer from tyranny and terrorism.

  6. Inflation static, but interestingly another month with a larger than expected deficit. Osborne now looks set to miss his current year deficit target.

  7. I am deeply saddened about the events in Brussels and despairing as to the impact it is likely to have on our lives, it seems the freedom that existed in my youth in the 1970’s and early 1980’s will be undermined further by calls for greater and greater security, I feel the terrorists are winning because they are making us change our western democratic values. Terry Pratchett wrote through his character Sam Vimes (a policeman) that in his view everyone was guilty and that he would ensure that crime was prevented by making everyone stay at home with their hands on the table,
    I have a feeling we are inexorably heading that way.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    But perhaps what I should do is light a candle rather than to continue to curse the darkness.
    My condolences go to those who have lost personally from this atrocity.

  8. COLIN

    People across Europe will be asking why is it we can allow terrorist to commit crimes in one country and simply sneak back over the border to another country and hide?

    Also, why did it take 4 months for the Belgium police to find one of the Paris attackers? Was he hop-skip-and jumping from country to country (thanks to Schengen) or was it simply a case of Belgium born muslins giving refuge to this guy?

    So many questions and not enough answers. Europe is a mess.

  9. LOUISWALSHVOTESGREEN

    @” is it unreasonable to ask what led to him fighting on behalf of ISIS?”

    It is absolutely vital I would have thought-and I think we can assume that it has been asked.

    The answer appears to be -Abdelhamid Abaaoud,
    Abdeslam has a history of drugs & petty crime-ideal canon fodder for DAESH.

    “Abaaoud is reported to have joined a group within ISIS known as al-Battar Katiba,[11] (the al-Battar Battalion[20][11][21]) while fighting was against Bashar al-Assad, during 2013”

    WIKI

  10. @Colin
    I wonder what the equivalent metaphors would be in the Labour Party ? :-)

    Good question, but harder to answer in part due to the lack of support in the press for Labour. You could go for ‘Pragmatist’ (Umunna/Jarvis) versus ‘Idealist’ (Corbyn), with the Mirror and Prospect respectively. Not as neat I know.

    @ALEC
    some within Labour must be thinking “if only we had the right leader at this moment in time”

    By which you mean virtually all of the PLP I presume.

    Until we see the next round of polls it’s hard to say if recent events will have any long term impact on VI. Personally I am a very strong believer that elections are won primarily on two factors, leadership appeal and economic competence. Whilst the Tories are probably taking a hit on both of these at the moment, one could argue over the last few years Labour have taken such prolonged hits on these it will take a lot more to convince swing voters that Labour are the better option. Brexit, the Tories electing a leader who is popular in the party but not in the broader electorate (eg Gove) and Labour switching leaders to someone such as Dan Jarvis could change all this.

  11. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    Yep-Belgium has a lot of questions to answer.

    And those still clinging to the idea behind Shengen will find it more & more difficult to justify.

  12. @LWVG
    “pinpoint that wastage in such a way that it would actually save significant amounts of money.”
    The way to save money is to have local control of small budgets, such that desirable extras can be bought from savings and avoidance of waste. Targets should be set on real results, not budgetary ones – eg clean floors as cheaply as possible; not lower cleaning bills.
    The tendency with large budgets is to spend them, especially if you may not get the same next year if some is unspent (which also counts against longer term planning); or if the total is ring fenced removing pressure not to waste money.

  13. Valerie

    Yes I do want a smaller state as I believe it is the best interest of the majority of the UK people to have a smaller state. My beliefs have nothing to do with my own or my families circumstances, I have always held this view even in my early days when I was not well off at all and my wife’s childhood background was near poverty and i mean real poverty, not how it is defined these days. I have also always believed in a safety net for the most vulnerable. However we probably have very different definitions of the most vulnerable in society. Mine will be a much smaller group than yours.

    You have a good day as well, the rest of mine will be spent at our allotments.

  14. @Valerie
    If he and his family were adversly affecting you can bet he’d be screaming from the rooftops. And no, I don’t mean the loss of something trivial like a free bus pass. He seems to exist in a completely different world to the rest of us.
    TOH, you say that the welfare budget needs to be cut further. Where exactly would those cuts fall? Does not the fact that disability benefits were nearly cut, the toxicity of which we’ve witnessed the past few days, not show that the ‘easy’ cuts (i.e those targeted at my generation) have already been made? Do you advocate further cuts to public services? As a public sector employee let me tell you that they’ve already been cut to the bone. You’ve pontificated on the need for further cuts and austerity endlessly, if you were chancellor where would the cuts fall?

  15. @Neil A

    “One thing that strikes me is the dexterity with which the Tories (these days) fling their policies out of the window as soon as they realise they’ve misfired. Perhaps a consequence of the aftermath of the Omnishambles budget. Even if they can’t stop making mistakes, they do seem to stop compounding them as soon as possible.”

    You’re right, they do, but I’d be a little careful about drawing too much solace from this. The regularity of such behaviour starts to cast a negative shadow and admiration at quick political footwork can soon give way to an impression that the government lacks principle,and backbone. “If you don’t like my policies (principles), I have others you know” is not a particularly good look and while there is obviously common sense involved in ditching unpopular policies where they can be fairly painlessly dispensed with, throwing anything over the side of the bus if it hits choppy water betrays poor strategy and chaotic planning. Osborne has form on this and stands accused now, probably by his own backbenchers as well as the voters.

    I guess the key balance here is between sensible politics and cynical expediency. Most voters will stick with a government if, dare I say, they clearly have a long term plan and are prepared to stick with it. Announcing a budget on Tuesday and binning some key planks of it in the face of Cabinet resignations and threats of party rebellions a few days later just gives the impression of shambolic incompetence. Voters then remember the chaos and division, not the clever retreat.

    As for the Belguim atrocity this morning, I don’t think this is the time, while they’re still searching for bodies, to start speculating about what it might do for Corbyn and Labour’s political fortunes, do you?

  16. Allan Christie

    Very sad to hear the news on the attacks in Belgium. Being able to close one’s borders effectively is becoming a bigger and bigger issue. I suspect it will help the “leave campaign” and may even hasten the breakup of the EU which i have always expected to happen at some time in the future.

  17. @TOH
    Monty Python’s four Yorkshireman sketch comes to mind

  18. JAMIE

    You nothing of me or my family so your comment is worthless. I explained to Valerie why I hold the beliefs I do. I suggest you read that piece.

    Two of my children work in the public sector, on in education and one in the health service. It is quite clear from what they tell me that cuts are still possible but of course this government have ring fenced both.

    If I had all the detailed information to make informed decisions I would be pleased to tell you in detail.how I would make further cuts.

    You don’t agree with me as I said the other day either ignore my posts or say you disagree but don’t upset yourself.

  19. If Governments were serious about cutting spending they would need to look at pensions and pension benefits, but it will never happen

  20. Jamie

    Which one are you in the sketch?

  21. TOH
    So you can’t back up (or ‘can’t be bothered’) your opinions. It’s just ‘there needs to be more cuts!’ but without understanding where they would fall or how the service functions afterwards. Any large organisation has wastage, private or public, you can’t just eliminate it all. Is that what your children were referring to? Could you provide examples? Because from where I’m sitting there are vacancies aplenty because:
    A) The pay isn’t good enough or competitive with industry due to the farcical 1% pay restraint
    B) The amount of stress because of all the vacancies
    C) The ever prevailant narrative of ‘public bad, must cut’ from people such as yourself discourages people from applying.

    “You don’t agree with me as I said the other day either ignore my posts or say you disagree but don’t upset yourself.”
    Counter suggestion, be prepared to argue for your opinions as the other (quite excellent) posters on this site are prepared to

  22. Meanwhile in Wales ….

    Roger Scully has details of the Pre-Election Wave of the 2016 Welsh Election Study – interviewing 3,000+ in early March,

    http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2016/03/22/national-assembly-voting-intentions-the-latest-evidence/

    Constituency VI (change since Feb Welsh Political Barometer poll)

    Labour: 34% (no change)
    Conservatives: 22% (no change)
    Plaid Cymru: 21% (+2)
    UKIP: 15% (-3)
    Liberal Democrats: 6% (+1)
    Others: 3% (+1)

    List

    Labour: 31% (no change)
    Conservatives: 22% (no change)
    Plaid Cymru: 22% (+3)
    UKIP: 14% (-4)
    Liberal Democrats: 5% (+1)
    Greens: 4% (+1)
    Others: 3% (no change)

    Leaving Labour 4 short of a majority.

    Scully’s comment – “Labour are currently running fourteen percentage points below where they were five years ago on both votes. Given that Labour in Wales have also tended regularly to do worse in actual elections than in opinion polls, the evidence at the moment suggests that Labour are likely to be in electoral retreat in 2016: the main questions would appear to be the scale of their loss in support and how many seats any such decline would see them lose.”

  23. THE OTHER HOWARD
    Allan Christie
    “Very sad to hear the news on the attacks in Belgium. Being able to close one’s borders effectively is becoming a bigger and bigger issue. I suspect it will help the “leave campaign” and may even hasten the breakup of the EU which i have always expected to happen at some time in the future”
    _________

    Well we all know you’re quite on the mark with predictions so it looks like it may be curtains for the EU, sooner the better to be honest.

    What has happened in Belgium is terrible and barbaric but we have been systematically told by Cameron that we are “safer together” by staying in the EU. IDS IMO was correct when he said we would be safer if we left the EU, today’s events I think vindicates IDS.

    I agree today’s events could help the leave campaign and it’s not being ghoulish by brining the terror attacks into the debate because so much of the debates over the referendum have focused on immigration and open borders and the ramifications this can have on increased terrorism.

  24. TOH
    I’m 30 years old, I don’t think I qualify as a bitter old man just yet. And if anything, things were easier in ‘my day’ (as in the 90s). I might even have been able to buy a house then instead of spending have my wages on rent!

  25. have=half

  26. Jamie

    As TOH is at his allotment, perhaps I can weigh in? You said:

    “He seems to exist in a completely different world to the rest of us.
    TOH, you say that the welfare budget needs to be cut further. Where exactly would those cuts fall?”

    From my perspective, there is a fair amount of benefit fraud, such as where people work cash in hand while in receipt of benefits. This is one obvious area, though there is always the danger that the costs of trying to cut out this fraud will exceed the savings. However, if no effort at all is made to police this, it will continue to increase.

    Other areas of saving would include stopping treating foreigners free of charge on the NHS. In theory there are either reciprocal arrangements or people get charged, but in practice it doesn’t happen. e.g.

    h ttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/nhs/12199883/NHS-spent-181000-treating-just-one-illegal-immigrant.html

    Yes I know it’s from the Telegraph but that doesn’t automatically mean it’s a lie despite what some might think.

    International aid should not have been ring-fenced either.

    Regarding benefits for the elderly, I could do without my winter fuel payment but I seem to remember that it was brought in as a universal benefit because it would have cost more than it saved if all were means tested. This is always the problem with this type of situation.

  27. JAMIE

    You’re 5 years older than me, in my book that makes you quite old ;-)
    ______

    OLDNAT

    Very interesting poll for Wales but even though the UKIP VI looks to have fallen back it’s still a tremendous breakthrough for them (coming from 0 seats to 7. Plaid would gain two and with Labour the could form a coalition with quite a large majority. I can’t see Labour running a minority gov and their appears to be no other matches made in heaven other than PC.

    Labour: 27 seats (25 constituency seats + 2 list seats)

    Plaid Cymru: 13 seats (6 constituency seats + 7 list seats)

    Conservatives: 11 seats (7 constituency seats + 4 list seats)

    UKIP: 7 seats (7 list seats)

    Liberal Democrats: 2 seats (2 constituency seats

  28. Latest polling in Wales for the Welsh Assembly point to a need for coalition:

    http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2016/03/22/national-assembly-voting-intentions-the-latest-evidence/
    The prediction for seats are
    Labour: 27 seats (25 constituency seats + 2 list seats)
    Plaid Cymru: 13 seats (6 constituency seats + 7 list seats)
    Conservatives: 11 seats (7 constituency seats + 4 list seats)
    UKIP: 7 seats (7 list seats)
    Liberal Democrats: 2 seats (2 constituency seats)

    This seems to point to a Plaid/Labour Coalition as the only viable option (Plaid have ruled out working with the conservatives) as I cannot see either UKIP or the Conservatives in coalition with Labour:
    If that is the outcome it is likely to lead to a shift leftwards in Welsh Government policy and (perhaps significantly in the light of Alan Cairns appointment as Welsh Secretary) an even harder line on the Draft Wales Bill: Impasse anyone?

  29. JAMIE

    If I wanted an argument with you I would spend my time doing the necessary research but I suspect it would take months. Meanwhile my allotment would become overgrown and i would probably at my age develop a deep vein thrombosis sitting at my computer.

    What is clear is that you do not understand people like me. However I can give you a hint. I am not a fan of the welfare state and feel that Britain’s economic decline started in 1945. As an example of a specific I do not believe in healthcare free at the point of use.

    I think Beveridge would be turn in his grave if he could see the size of the welfare state now.

    Now i am off to my allotment, so if you don’t like my posts don’t read them.

  30. Time is one of the contexts of any government action.

    Yet, in this whole one page above everything is like a commandment … “You will cut the welfare state” … “You won’t cut welfare” (sorry for the modernised version).

    It is also mixed with other axiomatic points such as “responsibility” (for oneself or for society), aggregate demand, and so on.

    Not very fruitful and at the edge of ad hominem.

    Back in 2010 I was convinced that the aggregate demand would have to be cut further than the coalition government did (to destroy more asset base so that RoI could improve). Now how – this is when it would become party political. I still think I was right.

    In 2016 the context is very different. The current budget is not about cutting aggregate demand (it actually could even slightly increase it), but reallocating resources, and it is very clumsy in this respect (not to mention the enormous uncertainty in the outcome).

    The Treasury doesn’t have the infrastructure and expertise to develop a coherent economic policy (partly a British thing too), and it doesn’t really want to either. So the shambles will continue, and the economy gets on with it – Inspite of the Treasury.

  31. Pete B
    “From my perspective, there is a fair amount of benefit fraud, such as where people work cash in hand while in receipt of benefits. This is one obvious area, though there is always the danger that the costs of trying to cut out this fraud will exceed the savings. However, if no effort at all is made to police this, it will continue to increase.”
    This is already illegal and policed heavily. To catch more people would involve more resources which means hiring more civil servants (which aint gonna happen).

    “Other areas of saving would include stopping treating foreigners free of charge on the NHS. In theory there are either reciprocal arrangements or people get charged, but in practice it doesn’t happen. e.g.”
    Not that simple, read the following
    https://fullfact.org/health/health-tourists-how-much-do-they-cost-and-who-pays/

    “International aid should not have been ring-fenced either.”
    Important for soft power. And given how unpopular it is with the Conservative’s core vote, don’t you think they’d have cut it by now were it just for charity?

  32. @TOH, Why do you get so snappy when people call you up on your views? You’re of course entitled to them – I even agree with some of your views of the necessity for deficit reduction. But, a sentence like “If I had all the detailed information to make informed decisions I would be pleased to tell you in detail.how I would make further cuts.” is incredibly meaningless, arrogant, patronising and self-righteous. When, as Alec did in his comment on the OBR response to the budget, you are confronted with irrefutable evidence, you dismiss it with an airy arrogance.

    I am genuinely happy for you that you have been successful in your life, and that you, through hard work, are in a position where you are relatively unreliant on the state. However, that is certainly not true for a very large number of people, for whom private education, private healthcare, private pensions, etc., are completely unattainable. And guess what, a lot of the people work bloody hard for crap pay and conditions. No-one expects you to have all the answers, just a bit of humility and good grace to accept a question in good faith.

    Sorry AW if that’s over the top – but after the incidents in Brussels today, my tolerance is a bit lower than usual. I’ll take my leave for a few days.

  33. It is important to recognise that in 2011 UKIP did not put up any constituency candidates at all; only regional list candidates, further this was before the European Elections in 2014 where UKIP made strides forward nationally. The real question is where the UKIP 14/15% is based, if concentrated, as I believe it might be, in the Valleys and North East Wales, the result could be quite different, the regional seats make up seats that are not won by constituency.

  34. @TOH
    “If I wanted an argument with you I would spend my time doing the necessary research.”
    So your entire philosophy then is ‘I’m going to talk absolute rubbish at everyone who will listen and never even countenance changing my mind because I am right’.
    Why am I not surprised?

    “What is clear is that you do not understand people like me. However I can give you a hint. I am not a fan of the welfare state and feel that Britain’s economic decline started in 1945. As an example of a specific I do not believe in healthcare free at the point of use.”
    Britain’s economic decline was due to the welfare state? You don’t think that maybe, just maybe, the scrap we’d just been in might have contributed?

    “Now i am off to my allotment, so if you don’t like my posts don’t read them.”
    Am I not allowed to respond or challenge you then? Might I suggest you start a blog or something and disable the comments?

  35. @Allan Christie
    Please don’t make me feel old, I can’t afford an allotment :(

  36. Further from the Welsh poll –

    EUref Remain – 41% (+4%) : Leave 36% (-9%)

  37. LOUISWALSHVOTESGREEN

    “If I had all the detailed information to make informed decisions I would be pleased to tell you in detail.how I would make further cuts.”
    is incredibly meaningless, arrogant, patronising and self-righteous.

    Not so at all, just a statement of fact. I’m not being snappy at all, in fact I’m in a good mood and looking to an afternoon working in the sun, However I do think that Jamie is getting himself upset and he should just stop reading my posts. maybe you should as well.

    I dismissed Alec’s answer to me as I did not think that they supported his original comment as i said at the time.

    I really am going now so you can relax if you don’t like my views.

  38. “However I do think that Jamie is getting himself upset and he should just stop reading my posts. maybe you should as well.”
    I’m not upset at all. Just trying to, y’know, actually engage you in debate?

  39. With regard to general observations of the type “I can see places where cuts could be made”.

    In organisations, this is often a failing of management to understand the importance of redundancy in systems. A certain amount of ‘slack’ can cushion the system against shocks, fluctuations in demand and so forth. It can also be a simple underestimation of the importance of certain roles and a mistaken belief they can be dispensed with, when in fact they may be critical to the organisation’s success. Cut in the wrong place and the entire system can become dysfunctional.

    (When we are talking about a public service, it can then be declared in need of ‘rescuing’ though the magical transformation of privatisation and increased competition…..)

    That leads me rather tangetially to mention a rather good little tract I read the other day on competition and its role in creating efficiency (or, perhaps sometimes not). Worth a look.

    http://bigthink.com/errors-we-live-by/how-free-competition-can-create-dumb-costs

  40. @Oldnat

    Further from the Welsh poll –

    EUref Remain – 41% (+4%) : Leave 36% (-9%

    Thats a big swing any details on don’t knows?

    @Lurkinggherkin

    Cut in the wrong place and the entire system can become dysfunctional.

    Very true – often admin staff who actually do the work are first to go, whilst higher paid or longer serving staff may be retained due to redundancy costs even if their roles are not as critical. I have first hand expereince of seeing this in both private and public sectors.

  41. LouisWalshVotesGreen – ” It would be refreshing if politicians would reflect on why crazed lunatics think it’s a good idea to blow up commuters and holiday makers”

    In this particular case it’s kind of obvious.

    It’s because they took Salah Abdeslam alive and were scared he’d start singing like a canary (remember he’s the one who couldn’t go through with the suicide attack in Paris and ran instead, and a couple of days ago let himself get taken alive, unlike his companion, who got killed). They probably figured they’d get arrested as soon as he started talking, and so brought forward their plans and went out in what in their minds counts as a blaze of glory.

    P.S. You keep talking about how it’s the politicians fault for not reflecting – but they’ve been doing that for well over a decade in NI, with power sharing, massive quantities of money flowing in from England and so on. But there is an upsurge of violence there at the moment – pipe bomb exploded under a prison officer’s car (Adrian Ismay) on 4th March and he died of his injuries. Other pipe bombs found. The only reason there is not more death there is because the police there are doing what you appear to despise – “more security, more police” as you put it.

    Root cause? Nut jobs gonna be nut jobs. In both situations.

    And police work is the only answer. Belgian police arn’t as efficient as the NI lot – apparently they have a staggering six police forces for a city of 300,000, because of some historical differences between the flemish and the french speakers.. As they start to organise properly, this kind of stuff should decrease.

  42. @Redrich

    “Very true – often admin staff who actually do the work are first to go, whilst higher paid or longer serving staff may be retained due to redundancy costs even if their roles are not as critical. I have first hand expereince of seeing this in both private and public sectors.”

    Interesting, because in my 40 years of experience in the automotive industry, during periods when it was both privately and publicly owned, the very opposite has tended to be the case. Older more experienced employees are usually targeted via early retirement and voluntary redundancy schemes. There is usually discretion in who is released and key skills retained where possible, but inevitably the business tended to haemorrhage experienced and long serving employees, very often to its detriment in the mid to short term. Sure, initial redundancy costs were higher, but the people who chose to go were on the higher salaries, hence bigger labour cost savings, and they much more readily tempted than the younger shorter serving employees who stood to get much smaller payouts. Obviously, I’m talking voluntary labour reductions here, not compulsory ones where last in first out applied.

    Ironically, what tended to happen was that people doing the really important and clever stuff left, leaving the less skilled and experienced people behind to pick up the pieces.

  43. @ Candy

    ” And police work is the only answer ”

    Police work, whist undoubtedly important, surely can’t be the only answer.

    I suspect many in policing roles would see themselves as the ones who are left to clear up the mess when the political process has gone badly wrong.

    It’s in no way condoning excusing the events in Brussels & Paris etc to believe the only long term answer is to stop creating the mess in the first place

  44. Leave @TOH alone – he’s perfectly polite and entitled to his views. I think it’s a little naughty of people to demand that others justify why they believe what they believe, as that isn’t the point of UKPR so this is not the right forum for those point scoring debates. Asking someone how their beliefs relate to polling, and subsequently what evidence they have for any supposed connections to polling is a different matter altogether, and perfectly placed for a UKPR discussion, but otherwise best just to accept that others have a different view in life.

  45. @Kentdalian

    If politics is the answer, why is there an upsurge of violence in NI?

    See the following BBC timeline: There’s an incident every two weeks on average, with deaths happening about once a month.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-10866072

    They’ve got their devolution. Sinn Fein is in govt but appears not to be very effective in stamping the root cause out if there is indeed a root cause.

    At some point you have to admit that these are just thugs. And the way we deal with criminals is police work followed by nice long jail sentences.

  46. @LG, Redrich, CB
    Many years ago I ran an information service at a research lab which was faced with cost reductions. My chief assistant (my only other scientifically qualified staff) left for better things. I was not allowed to advertise a vacancy which was to be filled from the research staff who might otherwise face redundancy. Part of the job was to answer telephoned technical enquiries. I was offered two older candidates, both very capable chemists. One was foreign. His English reading and comprehension were excellent, his accent dreadful. The other was stone deaf.

  47. @Louiswalshvg – “But the problem about discussing wastage in welfare (which undoubtedly exists), is that no-one seems able or willing to pinpoint that wastage in such a way that it would actually save significant amounts of money.”

    There was an interesting development a week or so back which may well be polling dynamite when it all works through the system, covering both the welfare debate and also, potentially explosively, the EU referendum.

    The ONS has announced a complete review of the immigration figures, which many feel are deeply suspect. At present, they are based on arrival and departure data from travel points, but there is a huge mismatch between the official immigration tally and registrations (from EU citizens in particular) for NI numbers. From memory the mismatch is in the order of 300,000 – 400,000 per year, so potentially a vast uplift in the immigration figures.

    However, the NI number count is complicated for various reasons, one of which is the suspicion of large scale fraud. I often hear the £3B of welfare fraud figure bandied about (I’ve used it myself, to be perfectly honest) but I’m suspicious that fraud is actually that low, largely due to this NI issue. If some assessments of NI fraud are correct then there could be millions of ‘ghost’ numbers out there doing nothing other than defrauding the system.

    The fascinating bit in polling terms is that the ONS is going to report on their findings a matter of days before the EU referendum – with the potential for a huge upward revision in EU migration possible.

  48. @crossbat11

    Maybe our different experience is due to sectors – mine being the finance sector. But it seems the overall impact was the same – loss of valuable staff due to an arbitrary process. I was part of a management team that was given saving related and headcount reductions targets (my worst work experience I have had to go through), and it became apparent that for some older staff with long service who were only a couple of years from retirement it was cheaper to keep them on. These were also quite senior staff with higher salaries. The main point is that if the decision making process is driven by purely by short term cost or headcount reductions, rather than a longer term view of needs of the organisation, it can lead to dysfunctional behaviour.

    ‘Ironically, what tended to happen was that people doing the really important and clever stuff left, leaving the less skilled and experienced people behind to pick up the pieces.’

    Funnily enough that’s what I saw happen as well, as the increased weight of work fell on those left behind the best ones left.

  49. @Candy,

    “The only reason there is not more death there is because the police there are doing what you appear to despise – “more security, more police” as you put it.”

    I said I was taking my leave for a few days, but I’m not letting that smear lie there. You’ve spectacularly missed the point of my comment – having extra police on the streets and in public areas may help to make people feel better, and even prevent another attack, but it’s not going to do anything to change the *reasons* for the attacks – that’s the point!

    I’m not quite sure what Sinn Fein, even those I’m no fan of their politics, are supposed to do about dissident republicans who are manifestly opposed to their participation in the Northern Ireland Executive (hence the word dissident), but hey ho.

1 8 9 10 11