Majority want Osborne to put up taxes for the rich to help the poor


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The Independent Online

A majority of people want George Osborne to increase taxes for the rich in next month's Budget so he can take more low-paid workers out of tax, according to a survey for i.

Some 60 per cent of the public support the Liberal Democrats' flagship policy and key Budget demand, while 34 per cent oppose it. The ComRes finding is a boost for Nick Clegg, who is pressing the Chancellor to speed up the Coalition's plan to raise the personal tax-free allowance to £10,000 by 2015.

The amount people can earn before paying tax will already rise from £7,475 to £8,105 a year in April. Mr Osborne, who has been irritated by the Liberal Democrats' public negotiating over his Budget, made clear at the weekend that any tax cuts would have to be funded by spending cuts or tax rises rather than higher borrowing.

Labour has extended its lead from one point to three points since our last ComRes survey a month ago. Labour is on 40 per cent (up two points), the Conservatives on 37 per cent (unchanged), the Liberal Democrats on 13 per cent (down one point) and other parties on 10 per cent (down one point). Labour leads the Tories by 40 to 35 per cent among women, while the parties are neck and neck among men (40 per cent).

According to ComRes, there is public support for demands by Tory MPs for Budget tax cuts aimed at business rather than individuals in order to get the economy moving. Some 58 per cent of people back this approach.

There is public scepticism about Labour's call for tax cuts if that means higher-than-planned borrowing in the short term. By a margin of 59 to 31 per cent, people believe the Chancellor should use any spare money to reduce the government deficit rather than cut taxes. Significantly, a majority of Labour supporters (54 per cent) back this statement, suggesting that the party may be out of step with its own voters. It is also endorsed by 74 per cent of Tory supporters and 49 per cent of Liberal Democrat supporters. The full tables are at