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Welcome increase in support for public spending

Posted: 28/06/2017

Welcome increase in support for public spending

Press release

For immediate release – 28 June 2017

Welcome increase in support for public spending

Anti-poverty campaigners have welcomed increased public support for higher taxes to pay for more spending on health, education and social benefits. 48 per cent of those surveyed said they supported higher taxes, and only 4 per cent supported tax cuts. 

The British Social Attitudes Survey also recorded the lowest ever level of people saying that those in receipt of social security do not deserve help. Only 21 per cent agreed with this, down from 32 per cent in 2014. Alongside this, the report found that the proportion of people who believe most of those claiming unemployment benefits are “fiddling” is at its lowest level since the question was first recorded in 1986.  This has dropped from 35% in 2014 to 22% in 2016.

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, said:

“Today’s report has shown a welcome shift in public attitudes towards taxation and social security.

“We know that tackling poverty requires investment, so the increased public support for higher taxes and increased public spending is to be welcomed.

“The survey also highlights progress in the public understanding of the reality of living in poverty and relying on social security benefits.

“The fact that a record low number of people believe that those claiming unemployment benefits are cheating the system, and more people than ever support helping those in receipt of social security, is evidence of improving attitudes towards those living in poverty.

“We hope that for those living in poverty that this will reduce the stigma they feel both in their communities and when accessing services.

“For too long those who have relied on social security have felt judged and have not been treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.

“This report shows a move in the right direction but there is still more to be done”.

ENDS

The full report can be read here: http://www.bsa.natcen.ac.uk/latest-report/british-social-attitudes-34/key-findings/a-backlash-against-austerity.aspx

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