The Budget: What Britain thinks

March 23, 2012, 9:32 AM GMT+0

32% think budget is fair; 90% support personal tax allowance increase, 64% oppose 'granny tax'

YouGov's first polling on this week's budget, conducted on behalf of the Sun newspaper, show that the public support many of the individual measures in this week's budget, especially the increase in the personal tax allowance, but are opposed to the increased tax on pensioners – dubbed the “granny tax”. Overall the budget is seen as unfair and likely to help the rich and the poor, but leave people on average earnings paying more tax.

  • The increase in the personal tax allowance to £9,205 is supported by the overwhelming majority of the public, with 90% saying they support the change
  • Other popular measures in the budget include the increase in stamp duty for houses worth over £2 million (supported by 84%), the reduction in the level of corporation tax (supported by 58%) and letting stores open on Sundays during the Olympics and Paralympics (supported by 59%)
  • The controversial decision to cut the top tax rate of 50p to 45p is supported by 32% and opposed by 55%. Conservative supporters, who our previous polling suggested were opposed to abolishing the top tax rate entirely, seem to have backed the government's decision, with 60% in support of the 45p rate
  • People were more evenly divided over whether the changes to the child benefit proposals were the right decision. 48% thought it was the right decision to allow households were someone earns up to £60,000 to keep some child benefit, 40% think it was the wrong decision
  • The least popular measure in the budget is the abolition of the age related tax allowance. Only 18% support increasing taxes paid by middle-income pensioners, with 64% opposed. 68% think phasing out the age related tax allowance so that over 65s eventually pay the same income tax as people under 65 was the wrong decision

Overall just under a third of people (32%) think the budget is fair, compared to 48% who think it is unfair (in comparison, in our post-budget poll last year 44% thought the budget was fair. Asked whether they think different income groups will end up paying more or less in tax as a result of the budget 46% think poorer people will pay less tax, and 56% think that the richest people in Britain will end up paying less tax. In contrast, 40% think people on average incomes will end up paying more, compared to just 23% who think they will gain.

Asked how they themselves will be affected by the budget, 21% of people think they will end up paying less tax, 37% think they will end up paying more.

While the budget has gone down badly, the Conservatives remain ahead of the Labour party on the economy.

  • People think George Osborne would make a better Chancellor than Ed Balls by 31% to 25%
  • The Conservative/Lib Dem coalition are trusted to make the right decisions on the deficit by 34%, compared to 24% for Labour
  • The Conservative/Lib Dem coalition are trusted to make the right decisions on improving the state of the economy by 34%, compared to 26% for Labour
  • However, on headline voting intention Labour hold an eight point lead, equalling their largest lead this year. Voting intentions in an election tomorrow are Conservative 34%, Labour 42%, Liberal Democrat 9%, Others 15%.

See the full details and results here