Public poll reveals that 40 per cent think the Chancellor is ‘in denial about the cost of living crisis’

10 December 2014

George Osborne’s 2014 Autumn Statement has been criticised for failing to meet deficit targets, announcing disappointing borrowing forecasts and proposing, what the OBR has identified as, a further £14.5 bn cuts to public spending. The IFS has warned that these projections could change the role of the state ‘beyond recognition’.

A snap poll carried out by Ipsos Mori on 5 December attempted to gather public opinion about these projections alongside the responses from politicians, charities, Trade Unions and research institutes.

The poll showed that 40 per cent of people agree that Osborne’s Autumn Statement shows he is in denial about the cost of living crisis and 24 per cent believe that Osborne’s long term plan for economic recovery is working.

Ipsos Mori also report that: ‘The public are split on the long-term impact of the government’s policies on Britain’s economy: 40% think they will improve the economy, while 38% disagree. However, they are more pessimistic on public services. One in five (21%) think the government’s policies will improve Britain’s public services in the long term, but 54% disagree’.

George Eaton writing for the New Statesman commented that ‘Osborne and David Cameron have long argued that austerity has proved that the state can do “more with less” but they’ve yet to convince the public’.

The poll also found that responses to the Autumn statement showed that the general public are ‘much more likely to think it will benefit rich people (47% think it was good for rich people, 5% bad) than poor people (14% good, 44% bad).

Tony Wilson, Policy Director at Inclusion discussed the OBR projections that total public spending will be reduced to its lowest levels since the 1930’s, and commented that: ‘Whether this is achievable or indeed desirable, especially in the context of greater post-war public expectations of the reach of the state, must be open to question.’