Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Britons fear hard economic times

Source: Press TV

A majority of Britons are viewing the new year with trepidation due to concerns about the economy as the coalition government's public spending cuts leave their impact on society, a new poll has shown.

The survey, conducted at the behest of the Timesnewspaper, shows that two-thirds of Britons are pessimistic about improved economic conditions in 2011, and one in five has decided to revolt against the spending cuts introduced by the government.

Cities across the UK witnessed violent protests these past two months. Tens of thousands of student protesters poured into the London streets on December 9 as the House of Commons voted into law a decision to triple university tuition fees to almost £9,000.

The protests turned violent after police “kettled” protesters as young as 12 for several hours and at least 50 people were injured in the day of the vote, alone, including 12 police officers.

The coalition government, formed after inconclusive general elections in May, inherited an insolvent government with a record budget deficit of 154.7-billion-pounds. It was forced in October, soon after formation, to unveil the harshest spending cuts in decades.

Most government departments were forced to carry out at least a 20 percent cut in spending as part of the coalition plan, while almost half a million public sector jobs are waiting to be slashed over the next four years.

The survey carried out by the pollster, Populus, showed two-thirds of those, who asked, believe they will have less spending money in the coming year and a high number of people expect to fall behind with some bills.

Thirty-eight percent of the people quizzed predicted they would struggle to pay all their household bills on time, according to the poll, and around 20 percent said they were prepared to take to the streets, while seven out of 10 people said they believed public protests "can be effective."

Populus interviewed 1,003 adults aged 18 and over by telephone between December 17 and 19 for the poll.

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