Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

Vast majority support benefits system – but want the system to be stricter (BBC/Ipsos MORI Poll)

An opinion poll conducted for The Future State Of Welfare with John Humphrys (9.00 pm, BBC Two, Thursday 27 October 2011) finds that an overwhelming majority of people in Britain say there must be a benefits safety net – but many do not think that the system works properly and want to see more conditions attached to payments.

  • 92% agreed that we must have a benefits system that provides a safety net for everyone who needs it. Only 4% disagreed.

However, many doubt whether the UK benefits system works effectively.

  • 63% think it does not (23% think it does).
  • 72% say that politicians should do more to cut the benefits bill (15% think they should not).
  • 76% say that some groups of people should have their benefits cut (9% are against this idea).

Respondents were asked about specific benefits.

  • 84% want to see stricter testing for incapacity benefits (10% do not).
  • 78% think job seekers should lose some of their benefits if they refuse work they are capable of doing (16% do not).
  • 62% want to see benefits capped for people who have 'too many children' (27% do not).
  • 57% thought those on housing benefit who live in expensive areas should be forced to move (29% do not).

Base: 1,003 British adults aged 18+: 16-18 September 2011.

Part of the sample was asked which one, if any, of the following groups should be the highest priority to have their benefits cut – respondents say:

  • Immigrants – 35%
  • People claiming over £400 a week in housing benefit – 27%
  • The long-term unemployed – 25%
  • People on incapacity benefits – 4%
  • Lone parents – 2%
  • Other – 1%
  • None – 3%
  • Don't know – 4%

Base 768 British adults aged 18+ who agree: "that there are some groups of people who claim benefits who should have their benefits cut." 16-18 September 2011.

Poll conducted by telephone for the BBC by Ipsos MORI – 16-18 September 2011. Data have been weighted to the known profile of the population.

The Future State Of Welfare with John Humphrys (9.00 pm, BBC Two, Thursday 27 October 2011).


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