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Cut spending, but not on education

Poll finds people willing to make economies but schools, health and food off limits - but government must cut own budget

A POLL has revealed that people are willing to make cuts in their everyday spending to cope with the economic crisis - but do not want to see any cuts in the education of their children, health and food.

People told pollsters from Harris Interactive they would make cuts in their household budgets, especially on clothing, communication and electrical goods.

Christmas and new year spending would also take its share of the hit with 58% saying they were prepared to "pare down" their budgets.

In all 65% of those questioned said they would reduce spending on clothing and shoes; 62% would cut down on landline phones, mobiles and internet, and the same for TV, MP3 players and video games.

However, just 9% said they would cut spending on their children's education.

Alongside this, only 20% said they would cut their health spending (and a further 68% said they were not willing even to make an effort) and just 39% were prepared to cut their food budget, with a further 52% saying they were not willing to make any change.

As for the government, a majority of people wanted it to rein in spending on the costs of government (92% wanted cuts) and defence (65%). More than one in four also wanted to reduce welfare spending and one in three wanted to cut spending on eco-projects.

Harris Interactive carried out the poll for M6, RTL and MSN between November 10 and 14, just as the government was announcing its plans for a second round of austerity measures.

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