62% Britons would increase taxes on wealthiest; 42% would keep 50p in £1 tax band at £150,000
The majority of Britons favour an increase in personal tax allowance, saying that workers should not pay tax on the first £10,000 of their earnings, our poll shows. Most also say that Chancellor George Osborne should not abolish the raised rate of income tax for people earning over £150,000 a year.
The results come in response to the recent push by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg for Osborne to raise personal income tax allowance sooner, in order to boost household budgets. Clegg has proposed that extra taxes on the richest in society would make up for an increase on personal tax allowance.
- 83% support an increase on personal tax allowance, so that people do not pay tax on the first £10,000 of their earnings, 8% oppose the increase
- 68% say that George Osborne should not abolish the 50p rate of income tax for people earning over £150,000, 19% say he should abolish it and keep the rate at 40p
- 42% say the threshold for the 50p rate of tax should be kept at £150,000 per year
- 39% think the 50p threshold should be lowered to £100,000
- 62% feel that taxes on the wealthiest people in the UK should be increased, while over a quarter (26%) think they should be kept at their current levels, and only 5% feel they should decreased
Clegg has also pushed for a controversial new 'Mansion Tax' which would impose a levy on properties valued at more than £2 million.
- 66% of Britons would support a new tax upon people with houses worth more than £2 million, while 19% are opposed to this 'Mansion Tax'
- While 50% would support a new tax upon people with houses worth more than £1 million, and a full 35% are opposed
Nick Clegg has justified his argument by explaining that due to economic pressures, the tax system should be reformed to reward and encourage ordinary people to drive growth. 'This rebalancing will necessitate reform across the tax system, so that those who are better off, or who act in ways that damage our environment, pay their fair share' he said.
Chancellor George Osborne has been amenable to raising the pre-tax allowance previously, as shown in his 2012 Budget in which the allowance increased from £6,475 to £7,475.The allowance is also set to rise to £8,105 come this April. However, moves towards Clegg's suggested £10,000 figure are proving more controversial as cuts and related austerity measures continue, in a climate in which Britain has recently been threatened with losing its AAA credit rating.
Robin Williamson from the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group has also explained that the standard of living may not rise as a result of a Personal Tax reform in any case. Much of the extra money earned by families after the personal tax increase, he says, could be lost through lower benefits, which are often based on after-tax earnings.