Country divided over welfare cuts, suggests poll

David Cameron

A YouGov Sunday Times poll suggests that people are split over the £12bn in welfare cuts set to come.

The polling company asked respondents the following question:

"As part of their plans to eliminate the deficit the government have pledged to make a further £12 billion cuts to welfare benefits. In principle, do you think this is the right or the wrong thing to do?"

A total of 40% said that these cuts are the right thing to do, whilst 42% disagreed, saying that they are the wrong thing to do.

A further 19% said they were unsure. These figures indicate strong support for the cuts, but also strong opposition to them.

Party breakdown

The strongest source of support for the £12bn in welfare cuts comes from Conservative supporters. 71% say the cuts are the right thing to do. At the other end of the spectrum 75% of Labour supporters say they are the wrong thing to do.

UKIP and Lib Dem voters are more or less split on the issue (Lib Dems right 37%, wrong 45%, UKIP right 47%, UKIP 39%).

The breakdown suggests splits in the Lib Dems and UKIP on the cuts and that Conservative supporters generally think that the cuts are the right thing to do.

Whilst the polling indicates that the public is divided over the issue in general, YouGov’s William Jordan highlightsthe data that “Looking at individual areas to cut, there is in some areas wider agreement.” For example 59% of people think that old age benefits should be protected from the cuts.

Overall, the country is more or less divided on the issue, but there are some areas of agreement. But despite some strong disagreement from people, particularly Labour supporters, with a Conservative majority it looks likely that these cuts will go ahead.

See the full results of the YouGov poll here.

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