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Survey shows support for government spending during COVID-19 crisis


People in Britain would be happy to see an increase in tax on wealth and high incomes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study by experts at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU). 

Leicester Castle Business School researchers Professor Edward Cartwright, Professor Jonathan Davies, Dr Arianna Giovannini and Dr Jonathan Rose, conducted a survey of 1,151 people and found that 71.6% would welcome higher taxes on those earning more money. 

Leicester Castle Business School

The survey also showed that 88.9% of respondents were supportive of an increase in government public spending and a further majority (58.8%) thought higher spending should continue for as long as COVID-19 is a threat, with only 14.7% disagreeing. 

“While there has for some years been evidence of such a trend in public opinion, the experience of the pandemic appears to have amplified the public appetite for change,” said Professor Davies, Director of the Centre for Urban Research on Austerity

Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the team has been looking into the impact of the pandemic on people’s trust, behaviour, attitudes to finance, and healthcare.  

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They say they results of this latest survey highlights a desire for a new programme of government with a more egalitarian, open and democratic character. 

Professor Davies said: “It is clear enough that there is no appetite for a return to austerity, and that there is an appetite for a new political-economic order. 

“Our survey tacitly supports the view expressed by Dominic Cummings, that a majority would happily fleece the bankers and invest the money in the NHS, while also supporting socially conservative policies.” 

When asked what Britain’s national priorities should be in the coming decade, driving economic growth and funding world class public services topped the list, especially more funding for the NHS.  

Greater equality was a high or medium priority for a large majority of respondents, so too preparing for future crises.  

“Electoral success for any party in the near future will depend on the ability to shape, challenge and respond to a new political conjuncture, crystallising at a most extraordinary point in the UK’s history,” added Professor Davies.

Posted on Monday 5th October 2020

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