London G20: Public lacks confidence in Brown plan

By Laura Miller

Gordon Brown’s plan to spend his way out of the global recession lacks support from the public, a poll by has found.

The prime minister is hoping the scheme will be backed by European leaders at the G20 summit today.

Respondents were divided over the massive fiscal stimulus package Mr Brown will propose at today’s G20 meeting.

The proposal forms the cornerstone of a financial plan that would consume 19 per cent of Britain’s GDP by 2010, with 48 per cent against the move and 53 per cent for.

The results mirror the mixed support from G20 leaders to the PM’s plan.

The heads of Europe’s two biggest economies, French president Sarkozy and German chancellor Mrs Merkell, have both said they are more than sceptical about the merits of such a programme.

Public lack of unity among global leaders is borne out in respondents’ lack of confidence that an effective international response to the global crisis is possible. Only 31 per cent thought the G20 would produce a multi-lateral solution.

Even less – fewer than two percent – believed Gordon Brown would manage to fulfil his promise to clamp down on tax havens, a measure opposed by some smaller European countries like Lichtenstein, and China, which fears it risks the tax-lite status of Hong Kong.

Overall respondents were unimpressed by Mr Brown’s handling of the financial crisis. Over 60 per cent rated his efforts ‘very poor’.