Voters’ damning response to budget – just one in ten say it will make them better off
While most measures in Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget have been welcomed by voters, only a tiny number of people think the overall package will leave them better off than before, according to a new Techne UK poll. The survey of 1,625 voters suggests the Tories will have to put forward a much greater cost of living offering over the next few months to have any chance of closing Labour’s poll lead.
Of those polled, nearly half – 48 percent – say the budget will make no difference to them or their family’s livelihoods.
Over a third – 35 percent – say the budget will actively leave them worse off.
Just 10% of voters say it will make them better off, with 7% saying they don’t know.
The data show that belief the budget will make them better off increases among older voters, perhaps unsurprisingly given many of the most eye-catching and generous policies were aimed at those saving for their pensions.
Given the pension tax relief stands to benefit those with over £1million saved in their pot the most, it’s also unsurprising that belief the budget will make you better off peaks at 18% among the wealthiest groups polled.
Despite the favourable pension tax cuts for the top earners, however, the belief the budget will make them better off still only reaches 18 percent of voters.
This peak support is only matched by those who voted Conservative at the last election, 18 percent of whom say it will help them deal with the cost of living.
Over half of 2019 Conservative voters say it will make no difference to their well-being, with 22 percent saying it will leave them worse off.
Just 6 percent of 2019 Labour voters believe the budget will help them, versus 48 percent saying it will leave them worse off.
Across all age ranges, socioeconomic grades and status of employment, the British public is largely united in criticising the budget’s overall impact.
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Separate polling on the individual measures in the budget has seen them prove popular by contrast.
A supermajority of the public backs both the Government’s decision to freeze fuel duty and keep the energy cost subsidy in place.
Two-thirds of voters backed the changes to pension taxes, leaving polling guru Sir John Curtice to warn Labour about the pitfalls of promising to reverse the lifetime savings tax abolition.
Writing for i News, Professor Curtice said the Labour’s decision to attack the change “may not resonate as strongly with voters” as they assume.
Jeremy Hunt’s decision to reject expensive measures to help people’s cost of living may have been guided by the Office for Budget Responsibility’s projects that the rate of inflation is set to crumble over the course of 2023.
According to the OBR, inflation is set to fall to 2.9 percent by the end of the year – well in excess of the Government’s pledge to halve it from the current 10.1 percent.
According to Ipsos polling at the time Rishi Sunak made his five keystone pledges in January, just 23 percent of the public believed the Government would do a “good job” of halving inflation.
Given all projections now imply this is certain to happen, it could provide Mr Sunak with an easy policy win given the expectations of a sceptical public.