Boost public spending before cutting taxes, voters tell Tories

Posted On: 
1st January 2020

Most voters want Boris Johnson to pump more money into public services before cutting taxes, according to a new poll.

Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid.
Credit: 
PA

A fresh YouGov study for The Times finds that 57% of the public believe it is "more important that government increases spending on services than it is to cut the amount of tax people pay", with just 16% preferring a tax cut.

Support for public spending over tax cuts is also high among Conservative voters, the YouGov survey finds, with 54% of those who backed the Prime Minister last month preferring increased cash for services and just 22% opting for tax cuts.

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The study comes after an election campaign in which the Tories promised not to raise invoice tax, VAT or national insurance while also pledging to boost NHS, education and infrastructure spending.

The Prime Minister has meanwhile promised to raise the National Insurance threshold to £9,500 from April.

However, the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank has warned that the so-called triple tax lock could act as a "constraint" on Chancellor Sajid Javid as he readies a Budget set for the spring.

The IFS said the vow not to raise the key taxes was "part of a fundamentally damaging narrative" that voters could "have the public services we want, with more money for health and pensions and schools – without paying for them. We can’t."

The Times/YouGov study also finds that most voters believe there will be "no change" in the financial situation of their household over the next 12 months, with 45% agreeing with that view.

That represents a more optimistic outlook than in December 2018, when 37% of voters said there would be no change.

A fifth (20%) of voters believe their financial situation will be better over the coming year, up from 13% at the end of 2018.

And just over a quarter (27%) believe they will be worse off over the course of 2020, down from 40% who felt that way heading into 2019.

Meanwhile 43% of voters expect house prices to go up, while just 14% expect their value to fall over the next 12 months.