Labour Supporters and Public Services, 'But Don't Give Money To Private Sector', Says Survey
Almost two thirds of voters support Gordon Brown's plan to raise taxes to fund the NHS and other public services - but only a third do so if those services are provided by the private sector, according to a new opinion poll.
The poll, conducted by MORI for the GMB union in the wake of the Chancellor's pre-budget announcement, reveals that:
- 62% of voters said they would support plans to fund public services by rises in taxation, whilst 31% said they were against the idea.
- 54% of voters are opposed to rising taxes to fund the NHS and other public services, if the public services are provided by private sector companies.
- 74% of voters believe that the NHS has got worse or stayed the same since Labour was elected in 1997. Only 19% think the Government has delivered on its pledge to improve health services.
The poll follows reports of serious splits within the Government over plans abandon the party's commitment to not increasing direct taxation.
Commenting, GMB General Secretary John Edmonds said, "This poll shows that Gordon's pledge to fund public services through public finances has struck a real chord with the voters. But it also contains a stark warning for Ministers. The public will only be prepared to see taxes rise if their money goes directly to providing more nurses, doctors and teachers, rather than lining the pockets of private contractors."
MORI interviewed 600 British adults by telephone on 29 November, 2001.