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Bronwen Maddox introduces the March issue of Prospect

The national poll carried out for Prospect by YouGov has delivered an astonishing result: 74 per cent of people think that Britain spends too much on welfare and should cut benefits. That represents a revolution in attitudes in just a few decades, never mind in the century since the beginnings of the modern welfare state.

Does that represent a hardening of hearts? Is it a nationwide lurch to the political right? Not really. People are not against the welfare state…

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