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CANADIANS WANT SPENDING CUTS, DEFICIT REDUCTION, NOT TAX HIKES – February 11, 2010

QUEBECKERS STRONGEST ADVOCATES OF SPENDING CUTS

[Ottawa – February 11, 2010] – Canadians seem to want the federal government to take on the deficit, and to do it through spending cuts.

In response to a viewer-suggested question on the CBC program Power and Politics, EKOS surveyed more than three thousand Canadians on the question, which will be on the top of the political agenda when the government introduces its budget after the Olympics.

First, the viewer wanted us to ask Canadians whether they had heard of the recent report by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page, which projected Canada would run a deficit in the order of $19 billion by the 2013 fiscal year if measures were not taken to avert it. This is the so-called “structural deficit”, which will not be eliminated simply through natural growth in the economy.

About two-thirds of Canadians claimed to have heard of the report: just over a third said they recalled the report “clearly”.

Then we asked Canadians how they would choose between the options open to the government this year: i.e., continue to run a large deficit, raise taxes, or cut services and spending.
It is a tribute to how sternly Canadians hold to their recent governmental tradition of avoiding deficits that running one next year was the least favoured option. In many countries (and in this country in past decades) people have often preferred the easy way out of running a deficit.

Some Canadians even prefer to see taxes raised than see the deficit continue as it is.

The most favoured option in this poll is to see cuts to services and government spending. It is not surprising that a majority of Conservative supporters take this view; but the feeling is even strong among BQ supporters. Even among supporters of the other opposition parties, cutting services and spending is the preferred route, though this view is held much more weakly.

“This presents an opportunity for the Conservatives,” said EKOS President Frank Graves. “The public is quite closely aligned to traditional Conservative ideology on these issues – if not its actual policies in recent years.”

“However, it would be a mistake to make too much of this result. Years of tracking have shown that Canadians are happy to support unspecified spending cuts, but less sanguine when the cuts affect them directly,” he said. “Moreover, deficit spending, or even tax increases, may seem more palatable if they are explicitly directed towards a shared goal, such as job creation.”

Click here for the full report: full_report_february_11

2 comments to CANADIANS WANT SPENDING CUTS, DEFICIT REDUCTION, NOT TAX HIKES – February 11, 2010

  • C

    Legalize chron it will solve all ur problems sons 😛

  • Rob

    But isn’t cutting services in definance of stimulus spending?

    If you spend 5 billion on stimulus, but cut 5 billion from services….you’re at 0 increase! Anything you pay out one way, is nullified by the jobs lost from the other?

    Crazy!