Spending Poll Analysis 2011

June 22, 2011 8:00 PM

Public support billions of extra spending cuts to foreign aid, high speed rail and trade union funding


A major new YouGov / TaxPayers' Alliance poll of 2,732 British adults reveals that the public support billions in spending cuts to foreign aid, high speed rail, trade union funding and a Green Investment bank.

 

The full poll results are available here


Key Findings

  • 69% would support freezing the International Development budget at its current level - SAVING = £3.7 billion a year (12% opposed; 43% would scrap the budget entirely)


Would you support or oppose the following cuts to public spending?
Freezing spending on International Development at its current level

  • 48% support cancelling plans to fund a new high speed rail line between London and Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester - SAVING = £30 billion (34% opposed)

Cancelling plans to fund a new high speed rail line between London and Birmingham, Leeds and ManchesterCancelling plans to fund a new high speed rail line

  • 51% support stopping the practice of paying full-time trade union organisers in large public sector organisations - SAVING = £67.5 million (26% opposed)

Stopping the practice of paying full-time trade union organisers in large public sector organisationsStopping the practice of paying full-time trade union organisers in large public sector organisations

  • 44% support cancelling plans to provide money to the planned Green Investment Bank - SAVING = £3 billion (33% opposed)


These key findings show cuts that the public would support could save billions, both by scrapping one-off projects and by cutting ongoing budgets. See notes to editors for sources and methodology for these figures.

Click here to see the full poll results

The public are not just in favour of overall cuts to international development spending, there are also substantial specific areas they would support cuts:

  • 83% agree with the statement that Britain should not be giving aid to developing countries with large, successful economies like India or China (57% strongly agree;  9% disagree)
  • 78% agree with the statement that Britain should not be giving aid to developing countries if their governments are corrupt (51% strongly agree; 14% disagree)
  • 77% agree that Britain should not be giving aid to developing countries if they have links to terrorists or terrorism (52% strongly agree; 14% disagree)
  • 70% agree with the statement that Britain should not be giving aid to developing countries if their governments have a poor human rights record and repress their people (40% strongly agree;  20% disagree)
  • 63% agree with the statement that charities that also spend large amounts of money on things other than giving aid to the developing world shouldn't be given grants from the international aid budget (28% strongly agree; 18% disagree)

Thinking specifically about Britain’s spending on international aid and development, do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Charities that also spend large amounts of money on things other than giving aid to the developing world shouldn’t be given grants from the international aid budget

110623-poll-NGOs.jpg

However, that does not mean they are entirely opposed to aid, or otherwise helping poor people around the world:

  • 81% agree with the statement that Britain should give aid to developing countries when it can directly save lives after a natural disaster (12% disagree)
  • 63% agree with the statement that Britain could do more to help the poorest people in the world by promoting free trade, property rights and the rule of law than it can by giving aid directly (21% disagree)
  • 53% agree with the statement that giving aid to developing countries helps Britain build trade and diplomatic links with growing markets (32% disagree)


They are divided on the moral case for aid and whether or not it helps improve Britain's place in the world:

  • 42% agree with the statement that spending money on international development helps improve Britain's standing and influence in the world (43% disagree)
  • 48% agree with the statement that Britain has a moral duty to spend money on helping the poorest people in the world (43% disagree)

The full poll results are available here

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