- Bombshell poll before Autumn Statement shows 51% of voters want tax cuts now
- Nearly 1/3 associate Labour with low taxes compared to less than 1/4 for Tories
More voters now associate Labour with lower taxes than the Tories, according to a bombshell poll.
Just days before the Autumn Statement, the survey for The Daily Mail reveals the scale of the clamour for tax cuts among the public.
Last night Tory MPs backed the calls and demanded Chancellor Jeremy Hunt uses next week’s Statement to ease the cost of living by slashing duties and restoring the Conservatives‘ reputation as the party of low taxation.
The poll, by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, found more than half (51 per cent) of voters believe now is the time for tax cuts, rather than waiting until the Spring Budget next year.
Just 28 per cent think taxes should remain the same, with only one in ten believing they should be hiked. A majority (45 per cent) say lowering taxes would make the cost-of-living crisis better.
Are we paying too much tax… new poll from The Daily Mail reveals the public’s verdict
Pressure: Last night Tory MPs backed the calls and demanded Chancellor Jeremy Hunt uses next week’s Statement to ease the cost of living by slashing duties and restoring the Conservatives ‘ reputation as the party of low taxation
Fewer than one in five (17 per cent) agree with ministers – who fear tax cuts could fuel inflation – that it would make it worse. Most voters want reductions in income tax (41 per cent) as they believe this is the most ‘unfairly applied’ levy. This is likely to be a result of personal income tax allowances and thresholds being frozen in a ‘stealth tax’. This is followed by inheritance tax (36 per cent) and National Insurance (28 per cent).
But most worryingly for the Government, nearly a third (32 per cent) of voters associate Labour with lower taxes. By contrast, less than one in four (23 per cent) still think of the Conservatives in this way.
Meanwhile, more than a third (35 per cent) now think of the Tories as a tax-raising party, compared with less than one in three (30 per cent) who say the same of Labour.
The findings will pile pressure on Mr Hunt to slash taxes in next week’s Autumn Statement.
Households face an average tax rise of £3,500 a year by the next election. It comes after Treasury ministers were reportedly told by official forecasters they have more than £20 billion of ‘fiscal headroom’ to afford cuts because of rising tax revenues and falling borrowing costs. This compares with £6.5 billion at the time of this year’s Spring Budget in March.
Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘For the last few years, voters have had hiking of taxes and raising of interest rates. It’s therefore no surprise that because it’s a Conservative government doing this, they don’t associate us with lower taxes any more. Labour never really cuts taxes; it always leaves taxation higher – so this is a vital moment for the Conservative Party and Chancellor to recognise we need to get taxes down.’
He called on the Chancellor to look at scrapping the freeze on personal income tax allowances and thresholds as the ‘number one’ priority, followed by tax cuts for small businesses.
Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith (pictured) called on the Chancellor to look at scrapping the freeze on personal income tax allowances
Former cabinet minister Sir John Redwood added: ‘Conservatives have got to show they not only want to tax people less, but they are cutting taxes to prove they live and breathe the brand. And now is the time to do it.’ The poll found four in ten think the Government is now in a position to cut taxes compared to 35 per cent who don’t believe it is.
A third (33 per cent) said they ‘strongly support’ taxes being cut next week, with 29 per cent saying they ‘strongly’ support it.
The survey also suggests Labour is closing in on the Tories on economic competency. While 32 per cent said they agree the Conservative Party stands for fiscal responsibility, 29 per cent said the same of Labour. Less than one in five (17 per cent) disagreed that Labour is fiscally responsible, compared to more than one in five (21 per cent) for the Tories.
Philip van Scheltinga, Redfield & Wilton’s research director, said: ‘The Conservative Party has lost its reputation for lower taxes.’
The Treasury was contacted for comment.