by Stephen Tall on May 22, 2014
Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Over 830 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.
The economy is recovering but cuts to public spending are going to be with us for some time no matter who’s in government. I wanted to test attitudes among Lib Dems to how the cuts are being handled. The questions below mirror those which have been asked by YouGov since summer 2010 (you can access the results here, from page 27). This is the second time we’ve asked these questions, so responses are compared with the previous results (in brackets) from December 2013.
Thinking about the way the government is cutting spending to reduce the government’s deficit, do you think this is…
Good or bad for the economy?
67% (+9%) – Good for the economy
26% (-5%) – Bad for the economy
8% (-3% – Don’t know
Being done fairly or unfairly?
33% (-4%) – Fairly
57% (+3%) – Unfairly
9% (=) – Don’t know
Necessary or unnecessary?
76% (+4%) – Necessary
18% (-3% – Unnecessary
6% (-1%) – Don’t know
Too deep, too shallow or at about the right level?
30% (-6%) – Too deep
7% (=) – Too shallow
57% (+6%) – About the right level
6% (=) – Don’t know
Being done too quickly, too slowly, or at about the right pace?
27% (-7%) – Too quickly
10% (+1%) – Too slowly
57% (+6%) – About the right pace
6% (=) – Don’t know
And who do you think is most responsible for the current spending cuts?
20% (-5%) – The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition
43% (+3%) – The last Labour government
33% (+2%) – Both
3% (+1%) – Neither
1% (=) – Don’t know
The overall conclusion from these results seems to be… Lib Dem members generally approve of the way the government is cutting spending to reduce the deficit. Most think the strategy is good and necessary for the economy, about the right level and pace, and that blame should be laid at the door of the last Labour government. However, there is concern that the cuts are falling unfairly on the most vulnerable in society.
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.