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BBC survey reveals public mistrust of government spending

Survey found that most people want their governments to have a more active role in their country's e

More than one-third of people in 22 countries around the world believe that their governments misspend over half of tax-payers' money, says a new international survey by the BBC World Service.

Undertaken in collaboration with the Programme on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, the survey found that paradoxically, most people wanted their governments to have a more active role in their country's economy.

The survey found that there was moderate support for increased government regulation of the economy in most countries, with the US, Spain, Turkey and Australia being notable exceptions.

A total of 78 per cent of respondents were in favour of state-backed food subsidies to reduce the cost of basic food items. Only in Germany were respondents against food subsidies, albeit by a slim majority.

However, a little over half of those surveyed were against government stimulus and aid. Most people also favoured public sector cuts to increased taxation.

The US, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, Mexico, Britain, Brazil, Russia, China, India, Australia and Egypt were among the countries surveyed.