Making ends meet

June 23, 2010, 10:12 PM GMT+0

39% of Brits are finding it harder to make ends meet this year compared to last, a survey conducted on behalf of the Sun newspaper has found.

This figure came immediately prior to George Osborne’s unveiling of his first, emergency budget yesterday following David Cameron’s ominous claim that we should expect unavoidably tough measures in order to deal with the country’s ailing finances. Across the nation people will be waiting to see how the confirmed changes will manifest themselves and whether the above feeling will merely get worse.

In the survey, we asked people to choose four taxes they would have liked to see put up in the budget. Tobacco duty (70%) came in first; higher corporation tax (57%) tax came in second; and a higher alcohol duty (47%) in third.

Drastic cuts

Members of the public are divided, however, on the drastic cuts to public spending proposed by the government, with 41% saying that now is the right time to cut borrowing sharply so Britain’s economy can recover, while a nearly-identical 40% are of the opinion that early cuts could drive Britain back into recession.

It should be noted, however, that these polarised perspectives run along partisan lines. Unsurprisingly, 78% of Conservatives supporters back early spending cuts, a policy which has been proposed, and which is now being executed, by their party, while 81% of Labour supporters are against early cuts.
The idea that banks should be subject to increased taxes, in addition to those that they already pay, has also been well supported, with 76% of Brits agreeing with the government’s assertion that banks should contribute more to the economy as a penalty for their involvement in the economic breakdown.

Little optimism

And optimism for the recovery of the British economy has, for the most part, been markedly low, and even more so since May’s General Election. 57% of the public believe that their financial situation is likely to deteriorate further over the next 12 months, compared to just 14% that think there will be an improvement.

Survey details and full results