COMRES/ ITV NEWS POLL: PUBLIC DIVIDED OVER BENEFIT REFORM. MORE THAN HALF DO NOT TRUST CAMERON / OSBORNE TO MAKE RIGHT WELFARE DECISIONS
As major changes to disability benefits begin to come into force in the north of England today, the latest Index poll conducted by ComRes for ITV News reveals that the British public is deeply divided over the benefit reforms and more than half (54%) of the British public do not trust David Cameron and George Osborne to make the right decisions on welfare.
They are more likely to support the Government’s changes to the welfare system than oppose them. Two in five (41%) of the British public support the changes, one in three (36%) oppose them and one in four (23%) are undecided. Half of the population (50%) believe they fully understand the changes being made to welfare spending. 33% disagree and 17% don’t know.
Half of British adults (51%) believe that the Government’s welfare changes are necessary to help ‘make work pay.’ One third (33%) disagree and 16% don’t know and half (53%) agree that cuts in welfare benefits are necessary to tackle the deficit. One third disagree (33%) and 14% don’t know.
The public think the changes being made to welfare system are necessary but are divided over whether or not they are fair. 42% feel that that the changes made to the welfare system by the Coalition are unfair, a similar proportion (40%) disagree. Just under one in five (18%) do not know whether changes are unfair or not.
Brits appear more likely to blame the last Labour Government for changes in welfare spending than the current government. Nearly half (48%) believe that the cuts to welfare spending are the fault of the last Labour Government because it let government spending get out of control. 33% disagree and 19% don’t know. Two in five (40%) believe that cuts to welfare spending are the fault of the Coalition Government because its economic plan has failed. However, the same proportion disagree (40%) and 20% don’t know.
The public is more likely to trust David Cameron and George Osborne on welfare spending than Ed Miliband and Ed Balls but levels of distrust for both remain strong. 28% say they trust David Cameron and George Osborne on welfare spending compared with 22% who say they trust Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. However, more than half (54%) of the British public do not trust Cameron and Osborne to make the right decisions on welfare with a similar proportion (53%) saying that they do not trust Ed Miliband and Ed Balls.