David Cameron benefits on welfare at Labour’s expense

Only 14 per cent think Ed Miliband could stop payments spiralling out of control, says poll

Ed Miliband is under pressure to take a tougher approach to welfare after a survey found that he is not trusted by voters to prevent benefits spending rising out of control.

A YouGov poll for the Labour Uncut blog found that many people blame the last Labour government for the £200bn-a-year bill for welfare and tax credits. Some 44 per cent of people (and 30 per cent of Labour supporters) believe welfare spending is too high, while only 18 per cent think it is too low and 17 per cent say it is about right.

When those who say the welfare bill is too high are asked who they believe is responsible for it, a majority (54 per cent) blame the last Labour government and only 5 per cent the Coalition. Some 31 per cent think the last and present governments are equally responsible and 8 per cent blame neither.

Asked who would do more to prevent welfare spending rising out of control, only 14 per cent of the public name Mr Miliband and 45 per cent opted for David Cameron, while 25 per cent reply “neither.” When asked who they trusted most to create jobs and reduce unemployment, the two leaders are neck and neck. Some 28 per cent trust Mr Miliband, 27 per cent Mr Cameron and 30 per cent neither.

Under Mr Miliband, Labour has toughened its line on social security. The jobless would lose benefits if they refused a government-guaranteed job after two years, or one year for young people. But the Conservatives have branded Labour “the welfare party” after it did not support the Government’s £26,000-a-year cap on benefit claims by a family.

Kevin Meagher, associate editor of Labour Uncut, described the findings as “politically toxic” and said the party needs to “stop this rot in public trust”.

Writing on The Independent’s website, he warned: “This gap goes to the heart of Labour’s credibility as a party of government, so narrowing it must be a strategic priority.”

He conceded that Labour has started to make the case for a tougher approach, but said it did so “intermittently and behind a cupped hand”.

But a Labour source insisted: “People know Labour’s best for jobs and wages – and only more jobs and better wages can bring down the benefits bill. That’s the argument we’re going to win.”

Grant Shapps, the Conservative Party chairman, said: “The last Labour government led us into an economic crisis and still their ‘something for nothing’ welfare policies amount to the same old Labour spending, borrowing and debt – exactly what got us into the mess in the first place. Yet again, this shows that Ed Miliband is on the wrong side of the argument, while the Conservatives are on the side of hard-working families.”

According to YouGov, when people are asked what is the greatest problem with welfare, 55 per cent say that too much money goes to the wrong people; 26 per cent say politicians and the media distort the truth and 11 per cent think the system is not generous enough to those in need. Asked who does not get a fair deal from welfare, 32 per cent name pensioners, 20 per cent the low paid, 19 per cent the disabled, 10 per cent families with children and 4 per cent the unemployed.

When asked who they trusted to ensure benefits reach the people who really deserve them, 26 per cent name Mr Miliband, 27 per cent Mr Cameron and 31 per cent reply “neither.”

YouGov interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,593 adults online between 30 August and 4 September.

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
News
Pistorius leaves Pretoria High Court to be taken to prison
news

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style
tech

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Sport
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

French Teacher

£21000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: French Teacher ? Sou...

Geography Teacher

£21000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Geography Teacher ? ...

Cover Supervisor

£50 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experienced Cover Super...

Cover Supervisor

£50 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Randstad Education is looking to e...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album