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BUDGET GETS THUMBS-UP.

SCOTS have given a resounding thumbs-up to Chancellor Gordon Brown's budget.

The Daily Record asked voters: "Is the Government right to increase National Insurance to fund the NHS?"

The move was backed by 64 per cent of those questioned for our exclusive poll.

Only 21 per cent opposed it, while the remaining 15 per cent said they didn't know.

First Minister Jack McConnell welcomed the findings of the poll.

He said: "This shows that the vast majority of Scots back the vision of Gordon Brown and Scottish Ministers that the NHS has to be put on a sound long-term financial footing. It demonstrates that Scots are prepared to pay for first-class public services.

"It is now our challenge to deliver them with the extra resources which the Chancellor has made available."

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Smith MP, said: "Early indications like this are encouraging.

"It suggests there is widespread support among the public for our mission to put the NHS on a solid, sustainable, long-term basis, so that it really does become the best insurance policy in the world.

"It shows clear backing for long-term investment in the NHS."

Scottish Opinion interviewed 654 people by telephone on April 17 and 18 for the poll. The sample was weighted to reflect the Scottish population.

Is the Government right to increase National Insurance by 1p in the pound to fund the NHS?

Yes: 64%

No: 21%

DON'T KNOW: 15%
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 19, 2002
Words:239
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