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The Coalition Government and Social PolicyRestructuring the Welfare State$
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Hugh Bochel and Martin Powell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447324560

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447324560.001.0001

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The coalition, social policy and public opinion

The coalition, social policy and public opinion

(p.79) Four The coalition, social policy and public opinion
The Coalition Government and Social Policy

Andrew Defty

Policy Press

This chapter draws upon surveys of public attitudes to assess public opinion towards key elements of the coalition government’s policies towards public spending and welfare. In particular, it focuses on public attitudes to retrenchment in expenditure and the programme of cuts imposed by the coalition, public priorities for spending (NHS and education), and the distinction that the public appears to make between deserving and less deserving groups, including the apparent hardening of attitudes towards benefit recipients. The chapter suggests that the climate was perhaps more conducive to the Conservative victory in the 2015 general election than it had been in 2010. However, it also notes that public support for continuing and deeper cuts in public expenditure is not unqualified, and that there are concerns over growing inequality, together with a commitment to the idea of state provision in a wide range of areas of provision.

Keywords:   Coalition government, Conservative government, Public opinion, Public attitudes

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