Them and Us: the public supports benefit reforms

A fascinating survey for Channel 4 notes that the public supports the government’s benefit reforms.

Topline findings were as follows:

  • 58% of the public think the government should cut benefits more or has the balance about right
  • 73% of the public agree that compulsory volunteering for 4 weeks should be introduced in order to continue receiving benefits
  • 66% of the public thinks it’s right to withdraw Jobseekers Allowance if someone turns down a job offer or job interview.

Behind these toplines, however, are some intriguing breakdowns by voting intention. For the same points above:

  • 89% of Tories and 71% of Lib Dems think the government should cut benefits more or has the balance right. The figure for Labour supporters is 61%.
  • 92% of Tories and 83% of Lib Dems agree that compulsory volunteering for 4 weeks should be introduced in order to continue receiving benefits. The figure for Labour supporters is 58%.
  • 82% of Tories and 71% of Lib Dems thinks it’s right to withdraw Jobseekers Allowance if someone turns down a job offer or job interview. The figure for Labour supporters is 57%.

It’s remarkable to me just how close Tory and Lib Dem supporters are on these issues. It’s also worrying just how close behind Labour supporters are on some of them, particularly the top line on the approach to benefits reforms.

But the interesting point is that 45% of people opposed the government’s proposals for increasing tuition fees whilst only 37% of people agreed with them.

As such, nearly a half more people (58% v 37%) support the government’s approach to benefit reform as they do the increase in tuition fees.

If this isn’t Them and Us, I don’t know what is.

(Benefits survey details here; tuition fees survey details here.)

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rich_w

Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

2 thoughts on “Them and Us: the public supports benefit reforms”

  1. Who participated in the survey and how? How accessible was it? Did it use samples of the population who are middle-class, web-savvy and able to answer phone or email questionnaire or did they also consider those who cannot access internet, disabled people who cannot work or who simply could not let their views known? I bet a wider section of the population that included care homes, elderly, disabled people, mothers who are feeding their children and unable to answer survey questions… perhaps results would have been different…

  2. Maria – thanks for your comment. The survey was a YouGov one, so I’m guessing it was subject to their usual methods.
    If of interest, the organisation I work for did a survey of its members (all disabled people) the results of which are here. The headline result was that 93% were quite or very concerned about the government’s approach to DLA.
    Just to be clear, I’m hugely concerned by the findings of the YouGov survey.

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