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Support for benefit cuts dependent on ignorance, TUC-commissioned poll finds

Ministers cannot assume that voters will continue to back them in their plans to cap welfare benefit rises, according to a new poll commissioned by the TUC from YouGov and published today (Friday).

Voters least able to give accurate answers about benefits are the most likely to back the government’s policy on cutting benefits. The poll shows that once people learn that the benefit up-rating cap will hit workers in low-paid jobs, support moves away from the government, with 40 per cent overall opposing the cap on low-paid worker benefits and only 30 per cent backing them.

The TUC’s poll, carried out in the run-up to Christmas, found widespread ignorance about spending on welfare, the reality of unemployment, the generosity of benefits and the level of fraud.

TUC General Secretary¬†Frances O’Grady¬†said: ‘It is not surprising that voters want to get tough on welfare. They think the system is much more generous than it is in reality, is riddled with fraud and is heavily skewed towards helping the unemployed, who they think are far more likely to stay on the dole than is actually the case. Indeed if what the average voter thinks was true, I’d want tough action too.

 

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