Wales Wants to See an End to Spending Cuts

Article excerpt

Byline: Martin Shipton Chief Reporter martin.shipton@walesonline.co.uk

THE people of Wales have had enough of harsh austerity policies, a poll undertaken for the Western Mail has confirmed.

Two-thirds of people living in Wales would like the government elected after next year's general election to impose no public spending cuts at all, or to impose cuts that are less severe.

In a poll carried out for the Western Mail by Beaufort Research, people were asked about the approach they would like to see the next government take towards the budget deficit.

They could opt for bigger cuts in public spending, about the same level of cuts, smaller cuts or no cuts at all.

Overall, one third (34%) of Welsh adults would prefer to see no cuts at all imposed on public spending by the next UK Government and around the same proportion (32%) would prefer smaller cuts than those being imposed by the present Government. Just under one in five (19%) favour the status quo (ie the next government imposing about the same level of cuts as at present) while only a very small minority (5%) would prefer to see bigger cuts on public spending in future.

One in 10 adults (10%) could not express a view, falling into the "don't know" category.

The working classes (C2DEs) in Wales are less likely to want to see the next UK Government imposing any cuts on public spending than the middle classes (ABC1s), with 37% of the former calling for no cuts at all compared with 31% of the latter, and the proportion of DEs saying this rising to 41%.

Those in the middle age group (35-54 years) were most likely to say they'd prefer to see no cuts at all in public spending under the next UK Government, with 41% of this age group saying this, compared with 30% of 16-34s and 32% of those aged over 55.

People living in South Wales (Cardiff and South East Wales, West South Wales and the Valleys) were most likely to say they'd prefer the next UK Government to impose no cuts on public spending (at 46%, 43% and 32% respectively), compared with 24% of people living in North and Mid / West Wales saying this.

Non-Welsh speakers (36%) were more likely to express the view that there should be no cuts at all than Welsh speakers (29%).

There was little variation between the views of men and women, with 35% of the former saying they wanted no cuts at all against 34% of the latter.

A Plaid Cymru spokeswoman said: "Our priority is to build the Welsh economy and ensure a more prosperous future for the people of Wales. A key factor in this is ensuring that we invest in our infrastructure and support job creation across Wales. …