According to a poll by the think tank Theos, 76% of UK population think the taxpayer shouldn’t contribute towards the cost of the September visit, currently estimated at £10-12m (rather than the previous £8m) apart from more millions* for policing the event.
BBC: Taxpayers should not fund Pope’s visit, says survey
PinkNews: Britons apathetic to Pope visit but disagree with state funding
Which is hardly surprising. There’s no reason why His Bigotry shouldn’t visit, but why should it be paid for by non-Catholics? The Queen invited him? So let the Queen foot the bill from her own long purse if the Catholic Church is oh so poor.
The 12 statements of his given to the respondents to consider are fishy too. ‘Some 79% agreed with the Pope’s statement “the natural environment is more than raw material to be manipulated at our pleasure”.’ So what? Surely Cameron would agree with this – would it make you a Tory supporter if you agreed too? ‘There was no statement on sexual orientation, but 63 per cent agreed with the view “it is irresponsible to view sexuality merely as a source of pleasure”.’ I agree with that one, but then viewing sexuality merely as a source of pleasure is what he is doing, innit?
* Update: estimate as of 9 Sep is between £1-1.5m.
ETA, 8 Feb 11: Apparently, £1.85m used for the cost of the visit came from DFID (Department for International Development, concerned with overseas aid).