- Around half of the British public (51%) think that the Government is wrong to be reducing spending on child tax credits, while just one third think the Government is right to be doing so (34%).
- Sentiment is similar towards to working tax credits, with 53% thinking the government is wrong to be cutting it compared to 31% thinking it is right.
- This is despite just 20% of the public saying they expect these cuts to have a negative impact on them personally.
- While Britons are much more likely to think the changes are unfair (51%) than fair (31%), people are divided about whether they are necessary - 39% think they are while 43% think they are unnecessary.
- When asked about potential other actions to take to reduce the budget deficit, by far the most popular is reducing foreign aid, which 64% of the public list in the top two alternatives.
- This is followed by cutting Trident (26%), which is the only alternative option to come above cutting tax credits (20%).
- Increasing the basic rate of income tax (11%) and borrowing more money, slowing the rate at which the deficit is reduced (10%), make up the top five.
- Half of Britons (49%) think the Government’s proposed changes to tax credits are an example of George Osborne making bad decisions as Chancellor. 28% think it is an example of him making good decisions.
- 44% think that the changes represent a broken election promise by the Conservatives, while 33% think the changes are the Conservatives carrying out the welfare reform they said they would.
- There has been a nine point rise in the proportion of the public saying it would be better to slow the rate of spending cuts even if it makes it take longer to get the country’s finances back on track (59%, up from 50% prior to the General Election).