29th June 2015
With just over a week to go until 8 July when Chancellor George Osborne unveils his emergency budget, new research from reveals how the British public wants the nation’s finances to be spent.
The research, which more than 10,000 people from across the country took part in revealed that on average, people are happy to receive less financial support from the Government in their golden years in favour of more financial freedom and lower taxes today.
It found on average, Britons would cut state support for older people, including pensions, by over £48bn while increasing the size of tax cuts by 156% to £17.9bn.
And, while Osborne is expected to announce a controversial £12bn cut to the welfare bill in his emergency budget, SunLife’s research revealed that the UK public would actually like to see him go further and cut benefits by a further £15bn, taking overall spend on welfare down by almost 25% from £110bn to £82.7bn.
Dean Lamble, managing director at SunLife said: “As the Chancellor prepares to announce his emergency budget, these findings shows that the British public has a clear view on how they think the UK’s finances should be spent.
“With an ageing UK population, pressure on areas such as welfare and state pensions will only increase. But voters – even the over 50s – told us that their biggest priorities for the new Government are to reduce spending in these areas in favour of lower taxes and more generous health, education and environment budgets. The Chancellor and all MPs could benefit considerably by taking these views into account.”
Overall the analysis revealed that the nation wants the new Government to:
More than double spending on tax cuts from £7bn to £17.9bn, an increase of 155%
Cut spending on welfare (unemployment benefit, job seeker’s allowance, child benefit and the minimum wage) by a quarter from £110bn to £82.7bn, a cut of £27.3bn – £15bn more than Osborne’s planned £12bn cut due to be announced in the emergency budget
Slash spending on older people (pensions, concessionary travel, the Winter Fuel Allowance and social care) by almost a third from £150bn to £101.7bn
Increase spending on healthcare (the NHS, social care and mental health) to £138.3bn, overtaking older people as the Government’s biggest Budget expenditure
Boost education spending by 12% to £101bn, overtaking welfare to become the nation’s third biggest spending priority
More than double the UK’s environment budget (renewable energy technologies and green subsidies) from £11bn to more than £26bn
Almost double the transport budget (spending on HS2, roads infrastructure and plans for renationalisation of the railway) from £20bn to £34.4bn
Increase the defence budget (armed forces and the UK’s nuclear deterrent, Trident) by 14.5% rise from £36bn to £41.22bn
Boost the foreign aid (supporting developing countries through grants and bilateral co-operation) spend by just under £1bn, taking it from £10bn to £10.94, a 9.4% rise
LAW & ORDER
Increase the budget for front line policing, emergency services and justice spending, including the UK court system byalmost £16bn, a rise of 53%