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Most “opposed to healthcare cuts” despite deficit

6 September 2010

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Some 82% of voters oppose cuts in healthcare despite the majority backing the government’s bid to reduce Britain’s state deficit, a survey has shown.

While many of those polled by the BBC World Service (60%) feel No 10 is right to increase taxes and cut spending, just under half (49%) favour public spending cuts, compared to 36% who would rather see tax hikes.

But there is strong opposition to cuts in specific public services including healthcare, education, the armed forces and support for senior citizens.

Healthcare and education are the areas that cause the most concern for voters, with 82% against reductions in either area. One in eight oppose cutbacks in support services for the elderly and 66% do not want to see a drop in funding for the military.

Research also seemed to suggest voters think frontline services could remain unaffected by cutting wasteful spending in a bid to reduce the government deficit.

The average estimate in response to being asked what proportion of a pound was wasted on activities which did not reflect the “interests and values of British people” was 46% – almost half of the total tax hike.

The survey also showed almost two-thirds (some 60%) supported continued government stimulus spending in a bid to boost the economy, but there was little backing for financial bailouts of banks, with only 37% in support compared to 61% opposed.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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