Northern People Feel Most Affected by Austerity – Deloitte

Posted on the 25 October 2017

Northern People Feel Most Affected by Austerity – Deloitte

Nearly half of people in the North of England are feeling the effects of the government spending cuts, according to a survey commissioned by Deloitte.

Conducted by Ipsos MORI, the business advisory firm’s The State of the State 2017-18 survey revealed that 41 per cent of adults in the North thought that austerity was having an impact on their daily lives – well above the UK average of 33 per cent.

The region scored the highest across the UK, followed by London (38 per cent), Wales (35 per cent) and the Midlands (34 per cent). In comparison, just over one in five people in Scotland suggested that they had been affected.

The UK average of 33 per cent is a rise on last year’s survey, which saw 27 per cent affected. Of the 1,071 adults surveyed, 80 per cent said that the NHS should be protected from spending cuts, while 49 per cent chose education and 32 per cent the police.

In addition, 63 per cent suggested that government spending should increase, even if that meant increases in taxes. In contrast, only 10 per cent said that taxes should be cut, even if that meant reductions in services.

Tony Reeves, public sector partner at Deloitte in Yorkshire and the North East, said: “Certainly from the public’s perspective, the impacts of the cuts are largely negative, something that has been felt particularly strongly in the North. However, it is important that we provide a balance on this.

“What we’re hearing from businesses is that while the levels of public spending are too low, there needs to be a balance with fiscal discipline, with funding reserved for key strategic priorities. For Northern businesses, transport is a perfect example of this, providing connectivity to other Northern cities, London and internationally to support business growth, and we would expect to see this recognised by the government.”