Majority feel British economy getting worse: poll

Two thirds of British voters think the economy is getting worse, according to a survey out Sunday, while an even bigger majority think public spending cuts are inevitable.

The ICM poll in the News of the World newspaper found that 66 percent thought the British economy was worsening and 23 percent thought it was improving.

Some 66 percent said they had cut back on spending, with a majority of those who had done so saying they were eating out less, giving up luxuries, sacrificing holidays and only buying sale items.

Thirty-eight percent said they could never imagine having the money they wanted to meet their needs, while 52 percent said they had less hope for the future, and felt much poorer than they did two years ago.

The News of the World said the results showed Britain's resilience was being tested and scared citizens were crying out for leadership and a bit of hope.

When asked who they would rather have tackling Britain's budget deficit, 41 percent said Prime Minister David Cameron and finance minister George Osborne, compared to 25 percent for the opposition Labour Party.

Cameron's Conservative-Liberal coalition government has embarked on an austerity package of spending cuts in a bid to rein in Britain's record deficit.

Some 82 percent thought the government's cuts programme was inevitable after bailing out Britain's stricken banks during the financial crisis.

While 77 percent supported reining in spending, two-thirds of voters said the cuts were being imposed too fast.

Fuel prices (39 percent), rising energy bills (24 percent), supermarket prices (19 percent) and tax and loss of benefits (five percent) had the biggest impact on voters' income.

ICM Research interviewed 1,001 adults by telephone on Friday.


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