Freebies in the electoral fray: Millennial Survey results

Over 58% of the sample’s 12,544 respondents said the likes of free gas cylinders, laptops and scooters could hurt the country’s finances.
Over 58% of the sample’s 12,544 respondents said the likes of free gas cylinders, laptops and scooters could hurt the country’s finances.

Summary

  • According to the latest round of the YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey, a majority of its sample took a dim view of fiscal handouts, but also revealed a partisan split over which party’s are good or bad.

In a highly fractious polity, convergence of views is a rarity. Yet, there are issues on which people across India’s political divide agree. According to the latest round of the YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey, most urban Indians are united in their negative view of free goods and services given by governments to uplift the poor. 

Over 58% of the sample’s 12,544 respondents said the likes of free gas cylinders, laptops and scooters could hurt the country’s finances. Regardless of the political party they support, their displeasure over such giveaways is strong. That isn’t surprising, though, given how cynically politicians often use such schemes to woo voters without consideration for what it would do to the exchequer and its ability to fund projects with long-term rewards worth waiting for. 

Politics being what it is, the use of freebies won’t go away, and that is also where the sample’s agreement ends. The survey uncovered polarized perceptions of welfare schemes run by the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress. Supporters of each felt their preferred party’s schemes were better for people than the other party’s. Evidently, the final word on the freebie debate is yet to be said.

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