Britons now tend to oppose National Insurance increase for social care

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
September 17, 2021, 11:46 AM UTC

Labour voters and older people are most likely to have turned against the idea

YouGov’s snap poll last week found that Britons were split in their support for Boris Johnson’s proposed increase to National Insurance in order to fund the NHS shortfall and social care.

At that time, 44% of Britons supported the move, while 43% opposed it.

Now follow-up YouGov research shows that the public are now marginally more likely than they were to back the changes. Almost half of Britons now oppose the increase (48%), compared to 41% who support it.

The biggest shift is among Labour voters. While only a third of Labour voters (33%) supported the National Insurance increase at the time of our snap poll, only a quarter (25%) still did by the start of this week.

Over the same time period, opposition to the policy among Labour voters increased by 55% to 68%.

Perhaps more surprisingly, a sizeable shift also came among those aged 65 and above. While older Britons remain the most likely to support the N.I. boost, at 60%, this figure is down eight points from last week. Three in ten (31%) now oppose the reform, up from 23% previously.

The shift in support seems to be a result of people coming to see the policy as unfair. Although national figures remain unchanged, there is ecidence of a shift among those key groups that are now more anti- the N.I. increase.

For instance, while Labour voters previously saw the reform as unfair by 58% to 33%, that gap has since widened to 66% vs 28%.

Likewise, belief in the fairness of the move among older Britons has slipped from 60% at the time of the snap poll to 56% now, while the number proclaiming it unfair has risen from 30% to 36%.

See the full results here