“New polling from the TaxPayers’ Alliance shows tax cuts are key to winning working class votes”
Courtesy of the Taxpayers’ Alliance
Landmark national polling data, commissioned by the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) and conducted this summer, has found that working class voters back bold tax cuts, both on household income and on British businesses.
With an election on the horizon, the data reveals that around 6 in 10 voters on lower incomes strongly favour cutting the basic rate of income tax down to 15p in the pound, compared to 46 per cent of middle class voters who back the idea. Council tax – which had risen at an average of 4.5 per cent in England, and in every local authority in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in April 2019 – tops the poll, with 83 per cent of working class voters demanding a cap on council tax rises.
Despite a widespread belief in Westminster that working class voters are ‘anti big business’, in fact they are more than twice as likely as professional voters to back cutting corporation tax to 12.5 per cent, the same level as Ireland’s. Focus groups from Walsall, Stoke and Bristol showed that working class voters are ahead of politicians and understand the importance of businesses as big employers.
Working class voters are particularly positive towards local shops and new businesses, with around 7 in 10 believing that local authorities should reduce business rates on high street shops. The poll showed that these voters – many of whom are heavily Eurosceptic swing voters likely to decide the outcome of the next election – are supportive of policies aimed to help both local firms and startups, as well as big national employers, given the benefits they bring to their towns and to Britain.
In a blow to the main political parties, who are committed to continuing the BBC licence fee as it stands, the poll also shows significant support for scrapping the TV tax, with 68 per cent of working class voters backing abolition. This was a full 28 per cent higher than support among middle class voters, one of the biggest disparities found between the two groups.
There was also considerable agreement across the two groups, with close alignment on support for reforming stamp duty, so that only those moving to homes worth over £1 million should pay, as well as creating an exemption on commercial properties worth up to £250,000 to encourage people to start new businesses. With tax becoming an increasingly important issue for working class voters, the polling showed that they want a fairer tax system in which ordinary families and hard work are rewarded.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance is calling on all political parties to adopt a series of tangible, radical and immediate tax cutting policies to win the support of these key working class swing voters in the coming general election.