Public reveals wishlist ahead of Autumn Statement

Autumn statement
By Isabelle Bell, CA Today

24 November 2015

Half of the public want the Government to eliminate the UK’s deficit within the next five years and invest more in infrastructure, according to research ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this Wednesday.

The PwC survey found that most people (61%) want the Government to spend more on infrastructure, particularly housing (51%) and roads (20%).

The survey also questioned the public on their attitudes to the Autumn Statement. Over a third of people (38%) do not know what the Autumn Statement is and just under a third (29%) believe it is relevant to them.

Around the same amount of people said they understand how the tax changes in the Autumn Statement will affect them.

'State of the Nation' address

As well as changing spending priorities, the UK Government should "do more to keep the public informed", the survey suggested, with only a fifth of respondents happy with the amount of information they receive.

Over half (52%) said they would like to see the government deliver a ‘state of the nation’ address each year, similar to the US Presidential State of the Union address.

Tina Hallett, leader of PwC’s Government and Public Sector Practice, said that investment in infrastructure is the key to boosting the productivity of 'UK plc'.

She said: “The Chancellor faces a tricky task next week in the Spending Review to balance the need for short term savings across government while also investing for the longer term. Delivering effective, efficient and sustainable infrastructure is essential to provide the backbone from which economic success and prosperity can grow – and from our polling the public seems to agree.”

The Budget deficit for 2014/2015 is £49.7 billion, but recent research by The City University suggests that this will still be around £40 billion by 2020, instead of the planned £10 billion surplus.

PwC surveyed 2,002 adults across the UK in November 2015 for this research.

Source: PwC

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