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Britons 'support cuts in public spending'

Wed 18 Nov 2009

People in the UK would back reducing public spending to help tackle the national debt, according to a new poll.

Research commissioned by the BBC found that many advocated steps such as freezing the wages of public sector employees in order to address the fiscal deficit.

Nearly half of those polled said they believe a one-year pay freeze would be a good idea, while 31 per cent backed a two-year suspension.

Meanwhile, many supported the idea of imposing pay cuts on those who earn the highest salaries in the public sector.

The BBC survey also found that nearly two-thirds of the public are in favour of cutting benefits or tax credits rather than hiking up taxes.

Richard Tinham, a partner at Winckworth Sherwood, commented: "The current economic environment, coupled with the £200 billion of public procurement proposed for the government's drive on equality in the private sector, is likely to place public sector buying teams under ever increasing pressure to deliver."

Britain's fiscal deficit has risen to more than £825 billion.

The government has made the economy and the public finances a central point of this year's Queen's Speech, which took place earlier today.

Speaking in the House of Lords, the Queen said the government's overriding priority is to deliver a fair and prosperous economy and ensure that future growth is sustainable.

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