Conservative voters give the government a stark warning before budget day

Philip Hammond
Support us and go ad-free

Philip Hammond is set to announce the government’s budget on 29 October. And in the run up, a new poll has found that the public is keen to see an end to austerity. It even found that the majority of Conservative voters are opposed to further austerity policies.

Enough is enough

The poll, commissioned by the trade union GMB, gives a stark warning to the government. Its findings show that the public feels enough is enough when it comes to austerity.

It found that 77% of people want to see increased spending on infrastructure, 76% want to see increased spending on public services, and 67% want to see closed public services reopened.

This spells bleak news for the government, which is closely associated with austerity policies and cuts to public spending. Worse still, 80% of people who voted Conservative in 2017 said they want to see increased investment in public services in the autumn budget.


Prominent figures in the trade union and labour movement have since commented on the findings, arguing it shows that the government needs to end its austerity policies. GMB General Secretary Tim Roache said:

This polling shows people have simply had enough of austerity and now expect the Prime Minister to deliver on her promise to put an end to it.

The cuts, the pinching and the squeezing have gone on for far too long – it’s time to put a stop to the government’s disastrous austerity experiment that has already caused so much harm.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The Chancellor must use his Budget to press ahead with proper investment in our crumbling infrastructure, funding for our public services instead of leaving them to rot, and giving our hard working public sector workers the pay rise they deserve after nearly a decade of real terms wage cuts.

These views were echoed by the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell:

This poll confirms people have had enough of austerity and the overwhelming support there is for Labour’s commitment to end it. The Government has to act. We don’t want any publicity gimmicks but real action.

Public sector pay

The poll didn’t only look at attitudes towards public services and infrastructure investment. It also asked people for their views on public sector pay.

Public sector pay was frozen or capped between 2010 and 2017. Meanwhile, teachers have condemned recent announcements to lift that cap for them, as the rises are not being wholly funded by central government.

The new research in this poll has found that properly increasing public sector pay is popular. It shows that 68% of people support a real terms pay rise for workers in the public sector.

Mounting evidence

This latest poll is part of a wider trend of public attitudes turning against austerity. Earlier this year, research found that two in every three voters thought austerity had gone “too far”. In 2017, another survey identified that a majority of people want to see more money going to the NHS, schools and police.

With public attitudes shifting, the government may need to make good on its claim that austerity is “over”. Otherwise, it could lose even more public support, and face problems at the ballot box.

Get Involved!

– Support the People’s Assembly Against Austerity.

– Read more Canary articles on austerity.

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via Foreign and Commonwealth Office -flickr.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed