New poll: Voters blame overspending for recession, and see tax cuts as best way to recover

October 30, 2008 11:09 AM

  • 67% say we are now paying the price for government overspending in the good years

  • Big majority (59%) see tax cuts as a better response to recession than higher spending

  • 67% think that Gordon Brown should follow the example of Ireland’s President and volunteer to take a 10% pay cut to help reduce government overspending

  • 68% want a cut in interest rates

A new ComRes poll for the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) reveals striking new evidence that, as the economic crisis deepens, the public want tax and interest rate cuts to help lighten the load.  The poll shows that big majorities see the massive public spending increases of recent years as part of the problem and don’t regard Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling’s plans for even more spending as a viable solution to Britain’s current economic difficulties.


The full poll results can be found here.


Key findings


  • 59% of voters think that “the Government should tackle the economic crisis by cutting taxes rather than increasing spending”, against just 18% who disagree. Voters of all parties feel the same way: Conservative voters agree 66% to 14%, Labour voters agree 54% to 27% and Liberal Democrat voters agree 52% to 26%.

  • 67% of voters (57% of Labour voters) agree that “Gordon Brown should follow the example of Irish President Mary McAleese who has volunteered to take a 10% pay cut this year because of the global financial crisis”, compared with 13% who disagree (18% of Labour voters).

  • 67% of the public think that “the Government spent too much of taxpayers’ money when the economy was healthier and we are now paying the price”, against just 15% who disagree. Again, voters of all parties share this disillusionment with higher spending: Conservative voters by 86% to 5%, Liberal Democrat voters by 63% to 20% and Labour voters by 49% to 32%.

  • 68% of people think that “the Bank of England should make an immediate and substantial cut in interest rates”, while only 11% disagree.

Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“The public expects politicians to take responsibility for the crisis and for the fact they left us vulnerable to this economic storm by overspending during the good times. Now, people want politicians to learn the lessons from this mess and centre their response to the crisis on cutting taxes and interest rates, rather than throwing good money after bad through even more wasteful spending.”


"The Prime Minister should show solidarity with ordinary families by taking a 10% pay cut, and David Cameron and Nick Clegg should do the same. Taking a pay cut would show he understands how this crisis is hitting the man on the street."

Ruth Lea, Economic Adviser at the Arbuthnot Banking Group, said:

"These poll results confirm what many of us have been saying for many years: the Government spent, and wasted, far too much in the years of benign economic growth. The current levels of government borrowing are far from being the “responsible” thing to do in a recession as Gordon Brown claimed earlier this week – they are the consequence of several years of grotesque fiscal mismanagement."

  • 67% say we are now paying the price for government overspending in the good years

  • Big majority (59%) see tax cuts as a better response to recession than higher spending

  • 67% think that Gordon Brown should follow the example of Ireland’s President and volunteer to take a 10% pay cut to help reduce government overspending

  • 68% want a cut in interest rates

A new ComRes poll for the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) reveals striking new evidence that, as the economic crisis deepens, the public want tax and interest rate cuts to help lighten the load.  The poll shows that big majorities see the massive public spending increases of recent years as part of the problem and don’t regard Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling’s plans for even more spending as a viable solution to Britain’s current economic difficulties.


The full poll results can be found here.


Key findings


  • 59% of voters think that “the Government should tackle the economic crisis by cutting taxes rather than increasing spending”, against just 18% who disagree. Voters of all parties feel the same way: Conservative voters agree 66% to 14%, Labour voters agree 54% to 27% and Liberal Democrat voters agree 52% to 26%.

  • 67% of voters (57% of Labour voters) agree that “Gordon Brown should follow the example of Irish President Mary McAleese who has volunteered to take a 10% pay cut this year because of the global financial crisis”, compared with 13% who disagree (18% of Labour voters).

  • 67% of the public think that “the Government spent too much of taxpayers’ money when the economy was healthier and we are now paying the price”, against just 15% who disagree. Again, voters of all parties share this disillusionment with higher spending: Conservative voters by 86% to 5%, Liberal Democrat voters by 63% to 20% and Labour voters by 49% to 32%.

  • 68% of people think that “the Bank of England should make an immediate and substantial cut in interest rates”, while only 11% disagree.

Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“The public expects politicians to take responsibility for the crisis and for the fact they left us vulnerable to this economic storm by overspending during the good times. Now, people want politicians to learn the lessons from this mess and centre their response to the crisis on cutting taxes and interest rates, rather than throwing good money after bad through even more wasteful spending.”


"The Prime Minister should show solidarity with ordinary families by taking a 10% pay cut, and David Cameron and Nick Clegg should do the same. Taking a pay cut would show he understands how this crisis is hitting the man on the street."

Ruth Lea, Economic Adviser at the Arbuthnot Banking Group, said:

"These poll results confirm what many of us have been saying for many years: the Government spent, and wasted, far too much in the years of benign economic growth. The current levels of government borrowing are far from being the “responsible” thing to do in a recession as Gordon Brown claimed earlier this week – they are the consequence of several years of grotesque fiscal mismanagement."

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