Six in ten Brits support tax and spending increases, new survey reveals

Posted On: 
21st September 2018

Nearly two-thirds of British voters want an end to austerity and would support tax and spending increases, a new study has revealed.

Philip Hammond is under pressure after a new poll found that a majority of voters support tax and spending hikes
Credit: 
PA

According to the latest British Social Attitudes survey, 60% of Britons back greater government intervention in the economy – more than double the figure in 2010 when the Conservatives came to power.

The poll found that even a majority of Tory voters would like to see more cash released for the NHS, schools and welfare, heaping pressure on the Chancellor to change course ahead of the upcoming Budget.

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Roger Harding, head of public attitudes at NatCen, which carried out the research, said: “Since 2010 the proportion of people who want more tax and spend has nearly doubled and shows the country is tiring of austerity.

“The question for the government is whether their recent spending announcements have done enough to meet public demand for more public investment, including now from a majority of their own voters.

“The question for Labour is whether they can win over the many older people who support more spending but currently do not support the party.”

Mr Hammond has repeatedly recommitted the Government to fiscal caution, and has recently hinted that a no-deal Brexit could mean further cuts in the future.

“In no-deal circumstances we would have to refocus government priorities so that government was concentrated on the circumstances that we found ourselves,” he told the BBC earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the Chancellor is reportedly battling officials in his own department over his attempts to hold the Autumn Budget as early as possible to avoid it becoming dominated by Conservative Brexit infighting.

source told the Mail on Sunday: "Philip wants to get it done as soon as possible. November is going to be bloody, and the last thing he wants is to become a proxy for the Chequers rows."

According to the paper, Mr Hammond wants to time the set-piece economic update for early October to allow legislation to pass before a decisive Brexit summit at the end of the month.