Labour cuts popular with voters

William JordanUS Elections Editor
June 10, 2013, 9:35 AM GMT+0

New proposals aimed at showing the Labour party’s seriousness on cutting the budget deficit are popular among voters of every party, but Ed Miliband's leadership ratings are unchanged

This morning shadow chancellor Ed Balls sought to clarify his party’s position on pensions, reaffirming that the Labour party will include the state pension in its proposed cap on welfare spending. The clarification comes after a week of major announcements by Labour aimed at showing the party is serious about reducing the budget deficit, including claims that Labour would cut the Winter Fuel Allowance for better-off pensioners and introduce and overall cap on welfare spending.

YouGov research reveals that majorities of the British public – including most of Labour voters – support the policies Labour has recently endorsed, but most voters also doubt Miliband “genuinely believes” capping the cost of benefits is the right thing to do.

Sixty-four percent of the British public support ending payments of the Winter Fuel Allowance to wealthy pensioners, including an even larger proportion of Labour voters (68%) than Conservative voters (64%). A slightly smaller proportion of voters overall (62%), and a narrow majority (52%) of Labour voters specifically, also think that it is a “good idea” to put a cap on the total cost of certain types of benefit as Ed Miliband has proposed.

Measures taking effect this year that limit child benefit for better-off households – introduced by the Coalition government – are also widely popular, with 72% supportive. Seven in ten (70%) Labour voters support these changes, which Ed Balls recently announced the Labour party would not roll back if Labour came to power in 2015.

However, less than a quarter (23%) of all voters and a minority of 39% of Labour voters think Ed Miliband has pledged to cap the cost of benefits because he “genuinely believes it is the right thing to do".

A tracking poll also shows approval of Ed Miliband’s job performance is flat from the Sunday before the proposals were announced to the Sunday after, with only 27% saying he is doing well as leader of the Labour party.

See the full poll results

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