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

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

Click here to read an explanation of the poll

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)
  • 48% support cancelling plans to fund a new high speed rail line between London and Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester - SAVING = £30 billion (34% opposed)
  • 51% support stopping the practice of paying full-time trade union organisers in large public sector organisations - SAVING = £67.5 million (26% opposed)
  • 44% support cancelling plans to provide money to the planned Green Investment Bank - SAVING = £3 billion (33% opposed)

For further results on foreign aid, including clear insights into how taxpayers want International Development policy to change, read our explanation of the poll. 

Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Ordinary families are facing higher taxes and huge pressure on their finances, but the Government are wasting billions of pounds of taxpayers' money. The public support alternatives that would blunt the need for some particularly painful measures and make room for lower taxes. There is strong support for cutting expensive projects like high speed rail, which they don’t see as the right use of their cash. And they would happily freeze international development, a change they rightly think is compatible with still helping the world’s poorest.  If the Government want to ease the burden on families and business, and remain popular while getting the country’s finances on track, it is critical that they consider some of these potential cuts.”

He added:

“There is no way taxpayers' money should be supporting thousands of trade union activists who are planning strikes and fighting very necessary cuts to public spending. The unions' actions will disrupt the services they claim to want to protect and make it harder to get government borrowing under control. If someone is working for a union, they should be paid by them.”

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