Most people support easing of the austerity program or ending it, while 4 in 10 are for introducing further cuts
New figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed the UK national deficit has narrowed much faster than expected. The deficit narrowed from £24bn, or 5.2% of national income, in the first quarter of 2015, to £16.8bn, or 3.6% of GDP, in the second. New figures also show the UK economy is now 5.9% above its pre-recession peak.
This is the first time in two years that the rate of debt dropped comfortably below 5% of GDP. The BBC economics editor Robert Peston says critics of George Osborne’s economic policy might want to reassess their objections in light of the news.
A new First Verdict poll shows that most people are for easing of the austerity program or ending it. However, when asked what should be the next steps in terms of austerity, 4 in 10 say we should go further with it. The questions attracted a lot of comments from First Verdict panellists with many of them voicing support for the austerity measures but suggesting that “cuts are made in the wrong places”.
The majority believe the UK is in a period of national austerity despite some arguments that the government effectively stopped austerity in 2013. Four in ten say they feel it personally while two thirds think the nation as a whole is feeling austerity.
The United Kingdom’s current account deficit was £16.8 billion in the second quarter (April to June) of 2015, down from £24.0 billion in the period of January to March. Growth in the service sector – which makes up 79% of the UK economy – slowed in July. Still, the manufacturing sector seems to be recovering. Analysts point out, however, that the UK’s economic growth in the following three months will not be able to keep up the pace achieved in the second quarter.