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03 November 2010
New polling data from researchers working at the University’s Wales Governance Centre and the Institute of Welsh Politics at Aberystwyth University has been published showing what the Welsh electorate think of the cuts.
Conducted by YouGov, the data shows that a majority of the electorate think the spending cuts are unfair to Wales.
The data was released on the same day that the University played host to a round table event where leading Welsh figures debated whether the Comprehensive Spending Review had been fair to Wales. Chaired by BBC Wales’ political correspondent Betsan Powys leading economists, including Gerry Holtham and Eurfyl ap Gwilym discussed the impact on Wales of the recently announced cuts in public spending. Other panel members included Yvonne Rodgers, Chief Executive of Barnardo’s Wales; Dr Calvin Jones, Welsh economist, Cardiff Business School; and Professor George Boyne, Dean of Cardiff Business School
Commenting on the findings of the Poll, Director of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre, Professor Richard Wyn Jones said: "Unavoidable, but economically damaging and unfair: that is how the majority of the Welsh electorate view the forthcoming cuts in public spending. While 53% believe the cuts to be unavoidable, 45% believe that they will be bad for the economy as compared to 35% who believe that they will have a positive effect. Only 29% of the Welsh electorate believe that the cuts are being implemented fairly, as compared to fully 57% who believe that they are unfair."
Professor Wyn Jones said: "As we now enter the run-up to the next Assembly election in May, what I find striking is the fact that a majority of the electorate think that the cuts are unfair to Wales. 48% of the electorate believe that the country is facing bigger cuts than the rest of the UK as compared to 29% who believe that Wales is facing spending cuts in line with the rest of the UK.
"These polling data will make particularly grim reading for Welsh Liberal Democrat leaders. In contrast to Conservative voters in Wales, the majority of whom believe that Wales is being treated in line with the rest of the UK, a clear majority of the already dwindling band of Liberal Democrat voters see Wales as facing bigger cuts than the rest of the UK. It appears that the worst fears of those Welsh Liberal Democrats who opposed the deal with the Conservatives are being realised."
Commenting on the findings, Professor Roger Scully, Director of the Institute of Welsh Politics at Aberystwyth University, said: "While the evidence indicates that most people in England have been persuaded that the cuts are the fault of the previous Labour government, things look very different in Wales. Most people here are not convinced that it is all Labour’s fault; nor are they convinced that the cuts are being implemented fairly. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have a lot of persuading to do before next May’s election".
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