Only 1% of the public believe social care for older people or child protection services should be cut to save public money, a Local Government Association survey has found.
NHS managers were the top target for cost reductions, with 69% of respondents saying they should face cuts. This is despite government plans to increase NHS budgets in real terms during this parliament,
Nearly half of respondents to the ComRes poll said overseas aid should be cut, even though the government has said it will protect this budget.
Dame Margaret Eaton, chair of the Local Government Association, said: “It is clear that the public want important frontline services to be protected, but are willing to rein in the quango state and remove unnecessary tiers of middle management to bring down the deficit. We need nothing less than a transformation of the way the public sector works to deliver savings.”
The Institute of Fiscal Studies has predicted that social care could face budget cuts of one-third from 2011-15 as a result of government plans to protect the NHS and overseas aid, and shield education and defence from heavy cuts.
Last week, the Treasury requested that all heads of government departments, except health, international development, education and defence, draft plans for 40% budget cuts over this period.
However, it emphasised these would be used only as a benchmark and no department would be asked to make cuts of this size in the comprehensive spending review