The Spending Review 2010: Intergenerational perceptions of fairness, cuts and economic recovery

[Co-authored with Dylan Kneale and David Sinclair] My report for ILC presenting the findings of survey research in advance of the 2010 spending review.

Survey evidence, presented in full in this report, shows that nearly two-thirds of people (65%) think that job creation should take precedence over reducing government debt. Concern for the economic prospects of today’s younger people trumps concern for future generations of taxpayers. Those from the lowest social class (partly skilled and unskilled workers) who are ‘very pessimistic’ about the UK’s economic prospects in the next decade was over double that of any other social class.

The survey also reveals that the public thinks that transport (63%), out-of-work benefits (54%) and defence (44%) are the top three areas the Chancellor should target for spending cuts. Interestingly, however, less than half of respondents from London chose Transport as a focus for cuts (48%), compared to almost three quarters of those from Wales (72%). This may be a direct reflection of the higher dependency on public transport in London.

Most people reported that they would reduce spending on clothes (73%), entertainment (62%) and transport (58%) if spending cuts affected their household income. Alarmingly, 31% of older people said they would consider cutting back on food in these circumstances.

Click here to access the full report.

Image: Ken Teegardin