While we won’t have any post-budget voting intentions yet, there is a snap online Populus poll for Which, conducted straight after the budget, results are here.

On the details of the budget, 92% supported the rise in the personal allowance, 77% the increase in stamp duty, 68% the increase in tobacco duty, 64% the change in the threshhold for the withdrawal of child benefit and 51% not changing fuel duty. In contrast, 46% of people opposed the reduction of the 50p tax rate to 45p, with only 34% in support. The freezing and gradual abolition of the age related personal tax allowance, which looks as though it may end up being the most controversial part of the budget, was not asked about.

In the past, however, we’ve seen budgets where people liked all the individual parts but still disapproved of the whole. Asked about the budget overall, 46% say it was good for the country, 20% bad for the country; 39% said it was good for them and their family, 19% think it was bad. There were more mixed findings when Populus asked if the budget made people more or less confident. People said it made them more confident about the economy overall by 33% to 25%, however they were more negative about its effect on their own personal spending. On confidence in spending on everyday essentials 31% were less confident, 18% more confident and on paying for big ticket outcomes 27% were less confident and 8% more confident.

Bear in mind, however, that initial responses to the budget sometimes don’t reflect the longer term view – these answers will in many cases be the first people had seen of the budget, or have been answered before people saw the media analysis and reporting of the budget, which may well change opinions.

Meanwhile tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figurs of CON 36%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10% – back to the sort of five point lead we were seeing last week. Note that the fieldwork for today’s YouGov poll was overwhelmingly done before the budget, so you won’t see any budget effect yet. For any budget impact on voting intention you’ll need to wait until tomorrow or the weekend.


171 Responses to “Populus snap poll on the budget”

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  1. JIM JAM

    THanks-good luck to Barrow.

    Ken

    @”on-line sales were strong”

    They were. People haven’t understood what is happening in UK Retail yet-the High Street is going to change-someone will think of a new niche for it .

  2. Labour’s new found concern for “Grannies” is really touching.

    My wife is reconsidering her voting habits. :-)

  3. COLIN.
    Do you know which female prime minister abolished the OAP link to rising earnings?

    I am trying to add some details to my modern social History notes.

    If you can help, thanks.

    Since on line sales were so brilliant, there must have been very not-brilliant high street and small shop sale figures.

    Have a good day!

  4. @Jim Jam – “…what was G.O’s answer re 50p tax?”

    That he earns such and such as chancellor (below the rate).

    Evan Davis: But you do have other income that takes you above that.

    GO: I’m not a big winner from this budget… I’m not a winner… er…

    ED: But you are a higher rate tax payer.

    GO: I’m not actually, no.

    At 2 hr 11 mins:

    h
    ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01dhqfb/Today_22_03_2012/

  5. If the price of petrol/ diesel doesn’t fall to off-set the +3p/ltr tax add on in August (I think that’s the amount & date), then that’s when we might see disgruntlement that affects polling.

    The fuel duty is really unpopular & most people feel that it eats up the benefit which they will get from the tax threshold increase.
    8-)

  6. Let’s please not get into a discussion of George Osborne’s taxes. It is not likely to go anywhere that isn’t a silly partisan discussion, and unless any of us here are his accountant it will be a discussion based wholly on ignorant (and inevitably partisan) speculation.

  7. @ Billy Bob,

    Thanks for that – love it. Actually, it’s probably true that GO is not a “previously 50p” tax payer, as much of his income is historical and hereditary so he probably has some great ways of hiding it, or keeping it in trust somehow.

    The problem with the “rich are paying more” argument, is that this is only true if they now move house and/or they are avoiding tax and now decide to unavoid tax (which is unlikely). The rich who are happy in their homes and have been faithfully paying their 50p tax (which many good people do) will see a great benefit.

    I imagine weekend polls will pick up on this “do you support the Granny Tax?” question although I’m sure put in a less biased way (e.g. do you support the abolition of the 50p rate that has been paid by taxing the hard-working soon-to-retire pensioners, like your own Granny Smith?”) :-)

  8. JIM JAM………Indeed, rising raw material costs do affect margins, but our manufacturers are adept at absorbing variations. The good news is that foreign, cheap labour based, manufacturers, are now being hit by rapidly rising labour and social costs, which they can’t absorb, hence the bullish news from GSK today. Manufacturers are looking at political and financial stability, a reliable workforce, and a friendly tax regime. With costs rising elsewhere, we are well placed to take advantage of the current climate, our automotive industry is booming, as are our pharmaceutical and chemical industries, add in technology and services, and we are set fair, what is holding us back is debt and the need to balance austerity with growth. I think we are achieving, step by step, success, in very difficult circumstances. The alternative of course is a strategy promulgated on the principle of, no return to boom and bust, we’ll borrow our way to success on a permanent wave of goodwill and unsustainable levels of debt. :-)

  9. @ Ken

    You are wrong about Glaxo. The decision was made before the current Chancellor’s 1st budget, never mind this one! Patent / IP was the determining factor & was introduced by the Labour government.
    8-)

  10. AMBER STAR………..You’d better get on to the GSK boss and tell him, not me, he said on R4 this morning that rising costs outside the UK and yesterday’s tax incentive swung it, the patent pool was factored in but wasn’t a game changer.
    And, by the way, I hope you are going to invest in some Mary Portas knickers, and support British manufacturing. :-)

  11. @Ken

    Andrew Witty, GSK boss:

    “The introduction of the patent box [first proposed by Labour in 2009] has transformed the way in which we view the UK as a location for new investments, ensuring that the medicines of the future will not only be discovered, but can also continue to be made here in Britain. Consequently, we can confirm that we will build GSK’s first new UK factory for almost 40 years and that we will make other substantial capital investments in our British manufacturing base.”

  12. Anthony Wells

    “I can give you a short summary now – Conservative supporters think it is good and Labour supporters all think it is rubbish.”

    Or maybe when the dust settles pensioner Con supporters will see that they are all in it together, and Labour supporters will see that it wasn’t as useful to them as they had hoped and much of the bad news was expected and everyone will be disappointed.

  13. @ Ken

    ………..You’d better get on to the GSK boss and tell him, not me, he said on R4 this morning that rising costs outside the UK and yesterday’s tax incentive swung it, the patent pool was factored in but wasn’t a game changer.
    ———————
    Nope, that wasn’t what he said. He said he didn’t object to Osborne saying that the corporation tax rates affected Glaxo’s decision. Not objecting isn’t the same as saying it’s true.

    And I think that any speculations about my knicker purchases would be best kept to yourself. :-)

  14. @ Greeny

    ‘I disagree that the “Granny Tax” will only have a short term poll impact, disappearing when the pension rises kick in – if it becomes embedded in the publics mind the effect VI could actually increase over time. The problem for the Government is that people don’t really think in terms of how much money is in their pockets, more along the lines in what they can buy with that money. So even if the other budget measures actually leave a typical pensioner better off, everytime they struggle with the daily shopping, or can’t afford some luxury the “Granny Tax” is likely to get the blame. This will probably be true even if it hasn’t actually started affecting them yet.’

    There has not been an increase in pensions at all – the high cash increase simply reflects the high rate of inflation last Autumn. In real terms state pensionms have been frozen

    I believe Balls and Miliband have so far been quite effective in attacking tis Budget. I am ,though, a little surprised that Osborne’s excuse for removing the 50% top rate have not been ridiculed on the lines of ‘Why did Thatcher and her Chancellors – Howe and Lawson – tolerate a rate of 60% for 9 years of her Government if the revenue effects were as Osborne describes?’.
    Labour would be well advised to commit to a reversal of this cut – otherwise they will look more than a ridiculous when asked whether they have plans to restore it. Electorally such a pledge would actually be popular – as indeed would bringing in a 60% rate on incomes of over £500,000.

  15. ROBIN / AMBER STAR…………The conversation with Sir Andrew was driven by the interviewers desperation to get some traction for his point about the Patent box, it was almost embarrassing to listen to such a hectoring interview. However, since I interpreted his comments supporting yesterday’s tax change, as a reason to do more business in Britain, as were his other points about rising costs and instability elsewhere, points which the interviewer, chose largely to ignore, we shall have to disagree on the matter. :-)

  16. COLIN………..On-line purchases have had a real impact on the logistics industry, warehousing, transport, and distribution are benefiting from the boom in on-line trade, with more growth forecast. Your comment about people not understanding UK retail and the impact on the High St does highlight a gap in perception, perhaps Mary Portas has the answer. :-)

  17. Knickers…I notice the ad on tv for Portas’s knickers seems to say “assets” but it crossed my mind whether actually the person is saying “ass sets”.

    Ok back to the polls…

  18. CHRISLANE1945

    @”I am trying to add some details to my modern social History notes.”

    You don’t need to go any further back than GO’s June 2010 Budget for the topic you raise.

    Hope that helps :-)

  19. KEN

    Yes indeed-it’s a shift in which UK seems to be leading the world………….switched on users of the Internet-or lazy ba***rds ? :-)

  20. Ken wholeheartedly agree re re-balancing our Economy.

    It was a major regret for me during Labour time in office that they did insufficient to ameliorate the decline in old manufacturing with measures to encourage new high tech manufacturing. I would suggest, though, that this failure begun in the 80s.

  21. Don’t recall it menioned anywhere, but I understand that the income limit for age-related tax allowances will cease in 2013/14. Fomr April 2012 it is £25,400 – so is probably irelevant for many senior people. But the removal of course will benefit this with ‘high’ levels of annual income.

  22. Oops, ignore my last post – I misunderstood a complciated table on page 3 of the following document:
    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2012/ootlar-rates.pdf

  23. @Ken

    I listened to the interview with Witty and you are correct and Amberstar is plain wrong. I was particularily interested as the company pays my pension.

  24. Why didn’t he just freeze the OAP allowance for future pensioners too yill they caught up? Next year (year after?) anybody planning to retire will suddenly find they are losing more tax than expected.

    Having said that, I don’t think the move is a bad one.

    The real crime was the tax cut for those earning £150,000 or more, with not evidence worth speaking of to back up any of the claims being made by the rich that less tax was collected than if it was 45%. Straightforward gift to the rich while benefits are being chopped.

    Polls? Can’t wait to find out…I wonder if we will see a shift in over 60s from Con to UKIP?

  25. @ The Other Howard

    In his statement, GSK chief executive Andrew Witty made it clear that the patent box was the ultimate pull factor:

    “The introduction of the patent box has transformed the way in which we view the UK as a location for new investments, ensuring that the medicines of the future will not only be discovered, but can also continue to be made here in Britain. Consequently, we can confirm that we will build GSK’s first new UK factory for almost 40 years and that we will make other substantial capital investments in our British manufacturing base.”

    In fairness to Osborne, however, Witty also cited further cuts to the general rate of corporation tax, which will fall to 24 per cent next month, having stood at 28 per cent when the coalition took office. Of interest, then, is the timing of GSK’s announcement. The company’s press office has confirmed that the decision was taken several days in advance of the Budget.
    8-)

  26. @ Greenery

    One thing that struck me yesterday was one talking head on BBC News, a recent graduate doing part time shop work who was pleased with the increase in personal allowances as it allowed her to do some overtime without worrying about having to pay tax on it. Now I don’t know anything about the young lady or her circumstance, but it just seems very selfish, this reluctance to earn a little extra because of the fear that 20% of it might go to pay for the countries education, hospitals, police, millitary etc.
    ——————————————————————–

    This is you being ironic, right? 8-)

  27. @ Ken & the Other Howard

    Unless the Montrose News has psychic journalists, yesterday’s budget clearly wasn’t the deciding factor.

    Published on Wednesday 12 October 2011 06:00

    GLAXOSMITHKLINE’S (GSK) local factory is still in the running for a potential £500million investment which could create up to 1,000 jobs in the area.

    A team of assessors visited the Cobden Street [Montrose, Scotland] site last week to consider its suitability for new manufacturing facilities to create drugs using the latest biotechnology.

    The company announced in April that Montrose is one of four sites, and one of just two in Scotland, in contention for the major investment.

    It is also considering Irvine in Ayrshire as well as Ulverston and Barnard Castle in the north of England.

    During the visit the site’s management were joined by officials from Angus Council, Scottish Enterprise and Dundee University to push the case for the town.

    A GSK spokesman said: “We are currently assessing the four facilities as a possible site for a new unit to produce biopharmaceuticals.

    “The GSK assessment party have been going around those four sites. On Tuesday the team visited Montrose and were given a series of presentations and a tour of the site production buildings and the laboratories.”

    The move has been prompted by a change in legislation which will favourably off-set corporation tax against products developed and patented in this country [Darling 2009 Budget announcement].
    ———————————
    And the proposed investment will have been planned long before any site visits with the press in tow.
    8-)

  28. And to emphasize:

    “The company announced in April that Montrose is one of four sites, and one of just two in Scotland, in contention for the major investment.”

    That’s April 2011 – & the decision to invest in the UK will likely have been made a fair while before the announcement & site selection review.

    Okay, I’m hoping I’m done on this subject because the facts are on the internet so anybody who wants to can check them.
    8-)

  29. @Ken
    ROBIN / AMBER STAR…………The conversation with Sir Andrew was driven by the interviewers desperation to get some traction for his point about the Patent box, it was almost embarrassing to listen to such a hectoring interview. However, since I interpreted his comments supporting yesterday’s tax change, as a reason to do more business in Britain, as were his other points about rising costs and instability elsewhere, points which the interviewer, chose largely to ignore, we shall have to disagree on the matter.
    ———————————————————

    Ken, you’re digging yourself into a pretty deep hole here. Next you’ll be telling us what Sir Andrew told you when you met him for lunch the other day! :-)

  30. You are not suggesting, Amber et al, that the aforementioned Sir Andrew was, well, lying when he said that yesterday’s budget was the deciding factor in opening a new factory here, a decision announced exactly 24 hours later?

    A whole day would be plenty to decide whether, where and when, surely, taking into account how all the detail of the budget was available for, oh, hours before having to make such a decision.

    Seriously, it’s obvious Sir Andrew wanted to show solidarity with the Tory chancellor’s budget. But it is laughable for anybody to believe it could possibly had played any part in the decision whatsoever, and in hindsight, it was a ludicrous claim to make.

  31. @NICKP

    There might be/have been any number of companies waiting for the budget’s corporation tax announcements before investing or investing more in the UK. Makes sense. It appears to be about encouraging large companies to move to, or stay in the UK.

  32. @NickP

    Your wrong again.

  33. Push me, pull you, George had flagged up his intention to lower the tax rate, GSK had indicated their interest in expanding here, they have been active worldwide in their search for locations, don’t be naive. :-)

  34. VALERIE…………I didn’t know you worked for a defunct Murdoch tabloid………! :-)

  35. By the way, vis a vis GSK, I can almost feel AW’s scissors hovering, so no more from me. :-)

  36. I might well be wrong. It’s happened before, many many moons ago.

  37. Here’s what the gov committed to in the 2010 emergency Budget:

    “To help fund increases in the personal allowance, and ensure that those on higher incomes pay their fair share, the basic rate limit for income tax will be frozen in 2013-14.”

    Yesterday, it was announced that for 2013/14 the basic rate limit would be reduced to £32,245.

  38. I forget who is whom, but the Institute of Fiscal Studies who previously have been quoted by the Government as reliable (but now might be scoffed at) seem to be questioning the evidence behind the cut in that 50% rate.

    IFS Director:,”We know pretty much for sure that the increase in the personal allowance will cost about £3.5bn in 2014-15. We do not know with anything like such certainty that the cut in the 50p rate will cost only £100m.”

    Taking a gamble?

  39. @colin – “Labour’s new found concern for “Grannies” is really touching.”

    Nothing new found here. Labour’s record on pensions was actually very good. While it was complex, the pension credit guarantee has help many out of an old age of poverty. Brown made things more complex, but actually did a great deal to help pensioners. Rightly or wrongly, through CPI indexing and the new flat rate pension scheme, many of the best bits are slowly being trashed.

    @Ken – GSK announced they were looking for a UK manufacturing base prior to the election. The only issue left to be resolved was where they would choose to locate.

    On the Granny Tax, whatever people think about it, I think there muct be universal agreement that it’s been presentational disaster. Perhaps this might call a helt to the habit of trailing all the good bits of a budget in advance, leaving the reporters only the nasty stuff to report on the day?

    There is another really unpleasant element to the governments defence on this as well. I’ve constantly heard ministers claiming pensioners will be better off because of the £5 a week pension increase. I’ve only heard Martha Kearney on BBC World at One slap them down on this – she quite rightly pointed out that this isn’t an increase – it’s merely keeping pension value in line with inflation, so pensions are completely flat next year with no actual increase.

  40. @Ken – From the Teesdale Mercury, December 21st, 2009

    “Glaxo could build £300m factory in Barnard Castle

    Dec 21, 2009
    DRUGS company GlaxoSmithKline is considering building a £300million plant in Barnard Castle – a move that would create hundreds of jobs.
    Glaxo last week announced plans for its biggest investment in the UK for more than a decade, including developing its first UK-based biopharmaceutical factory…..”

    A simple google search would tell you that no, the budget had diddly squat to do with the GSK decision which was announced 6 months prior to the last election when Osborne was claiming the proposed NI increase would cost thousands of jobs.

    Alistair Darling won this investment for the UK, and you should be man enough to admit this. We’re not talking partisan opinions here – just basic facts, dates, etc.

  41. @ Alec & Ken

    GSK announced they were looking for a UK manufacturing base prior to the election. The only issue left to be resolved was where they would choose to locate.
    —————————–
    And on the same day,just before the budget, the Scotland Bill was agreed. Corporation tax & CTax related matters will not be decided by Holyrood before 2016. There was, therefore, no chance of GSK getting a better deal by locating in Scotland.

    The location was announced because of the Scotland Bill, not Osborne’s budget.
    8-)

  42. The full interview with Sir Andrew Witty of GSK is available on the BBC Today web-site, listen to the answers, try to ignore the clown asking the questions.
    I’ll probably get naughty stepped now. :-)

  43. The GSK factory is an old trick of Osborne

    During the 2010 election,he argued that the NI insurance of 1% by the Labour government was too much and he`ll cut it by half a percent…It din`t seem such a big move then…But he dubbed it jobs tax and got 50 friends of his in business to write to the Telegraph supporting this move and helped to establish credibility for him and thrash Labour`s credibility on the economy.

    Now he`s got another business saying they are going to establish a factory due to the budget being fantastic…So does anyone really believe that they did all the legwork in 24 hours and decide to establish a factory in that time…It`s spin and more spin am afraid

  44. @ALEC
    I am an OAP and I am not bitching, why should you be?
    I have neither time/patience nor the desire to get re-band
    regarding your confident assertions regarding Gordon Browns gifts to British pensioners. But, in the spirit of your similarly confident comments about Osborn’s rubbish presentation, I contend even more confidently that Browns raid on A.C.T cattle trucked British pension funds very severely.

  45. Alec

    “There is another really unpleasant element to the governments defence on this as well. I’ve constantly heard ministers claiming pensioners will be better off because of the £5 a week pension increase. I’ve only heard Martha Kearney on BBC World at One slap them down on this – she quite rightly pointed out that this isn’t an increase – it’s merely keeping pension value in line with inflation, so pensions are completely flat next year with no actual increase.”

    Not true, and surprised at such a self-professed economist getting it wrong, one would almost think you were trying to make a partisan point if we didn’t know you better!

    Pensions are being kept in line with LAST year’s inflation (at their peak of over 5%) so it really is a ‘real’ increase given that inflation is 3.5% and still expected to fall quite a bit more this year.

  46. @smukesh
    “thrash Labour`s credibility on the economy.”

    Thanks for pointing out what it was that thrashed Labours credibility on the economy.

  47. bt says

    “Pensions are being kept in line with LAST year’s inflation (at their peak of over 5%) so it really is a ‘real’ increase given that inflation is 3.5% and still expected to fall quite a bit more this year.”

    Sometimes I am simply astounded. Are you being serious or is this you imitating a spindoctor?

    Last year’s inflation has to be matched because that value has already been lost. This year’s inflation will be added next year.

  48. roly1
    `Thanks for pointing out what it was that thrashed Labours credibility on the economy.`

    Looks like Osborne is trying to make amends by doing his best to restore it

  49. @NICK P
    Good point Nick boy. I am down to my last Double Breasted Blazer, Pink Chino’s and Chocolate Suede Brothel Creepers. As for genuine Panama hats, forget it.
    Probably have to wear some cotton thing, – bloody Tories.

  50. ROLY1………….You’re sartorially Tory ! :-)

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