Public doesn’t want tax cuts Truss and Sunak are promising, poll reveals | UK cost of living crisis


Most citizens are not asking for lower taxes, and more than a quarter actually want them to be raised in order to spend more on public services, a new Observer survey revealed.

Despite a Tory leadership race dominated by the timetable for tax cuts, the latest Opinium poll found no major outcry for them, with concerns over funding for schools and the NHS in the run-up to the fall.

About a third (34%) say taxes and spending on public services should stay at current levels, while 26% think there should be a tax increase to increase funding. Only 22% said taxes should be lowered and less spent on public services.

Lack of enthusiasm was also apparent among those who voted Conservative in the last election, with 41% saying they wanted levels to stay as they are now. Meanwhile, 27% want to see a tax cut and 22% want to see an increase.

Liz Truss, the favorite to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, has promised an immediate package of tax cuts costing around £30billion, reversing the rise in National Insurance contributions and abandoning a planned corporate tax increase. Rishi Sunak has said business tax cuts will be a priority and has pledged to cut income tax by 1p in 2024 – but wants to calm inflation first.

The tone of the debate is causing desperation in Whitehall, with candidates battling as the threat of recession and rising costs of living continue to mount. “What was the response from Westminster? A mismanaged government, months of Prime Minister fratricide and now a wacky leadership debate dominated by fanciful tax promises – that will produce a weak and ill-adjusted new Truss government that cannot handle the coming autumn tsunami” , said a Whitehall source.

Senior Tories have warned that the Truss tax cuts will fuel inflation, but the public is divided over their impact. Around a quarter (24%) think the tax cuts would drive up inflation, while 12% agree with Truss that it would lower the rate – while 24% think it would make no difference .

The Opinium poll also reveals that Tory voters now appear to be won over by Truss, who has conducted opinion polls of Tory members throughout the contest. The proportion of 2019 Conservative voters who think she “looks like a prime minister in waiting” has risen from +5% to +28% overall since the last Opinium poll. Sunak saw his rating drop from +14% to +6%. Among 2019 Conservative voters, 48% think Truss would be the best prime minister, compared to 22% for Sunak.

Trellis survey data

This suggests that many view Truss’ victory as a foregone conclusion, although there are still weeks to go in the contest. Sunak’s campaign has insisted that he can always win and that the polls of Conservative members should not be trusted.

In a race that has seen candidates make regular announcements in a bid to win the 160,000 Conservative members with a vote in the contest, Sunak is today trying to appeal to them by pledging to take action against degrees academics that perform poorly for students. . He also pledged to boost vocational education.

Adam Drummond, associate director at Opinium, said the way Conservative voters now rated Liz Truss on a range of positive attributes was “up double digits”.

Sunak survey data

“Conservative voters think they are more likely to win the next election with Truss than with Sunak and when the two candidates go head-to-head against Keir Starmer among all voters, Sunak trails by 4 (essentially the same as Boris Johnson) while Truss leads by 1, although the real winner of all these matchups is ‘none of these’, which is higher than any individual candidate,” he said. .

“But in October energy prices rise 70% and the Bank of England is forecasting a five-quarter recession, and any honeymoon from the new Prime Minister is likely to be short-lived.”

Opinium surveyed 2,010 people online from August 3-5.


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