This morning’s Sun had YouGov’s first post-budget polling. General voting intention stood at CON 32%, LAB 41%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10% so no obvious impact there.

On the budget itself most of the actual individual measures were widely supported. The increase in the personal allowance and cancelling the rise in fuel duty were by far the most widely supported (89% and 85% supported them). The cut in employers national insurance, interest free loans to help people buying new build houses and the cut in beer duty were all supported by more than half of respondents. Least popular were the revenue raising changes of course, but even then they weren’t very unpopular – the end of contracting out of NI was opposed by 38% to 31%, limiting public sector pay for another year was actually supported by 45% to 41%.

However, budgets are far more than the sum of their parts – there have been cases in the past when polls showed people liked most of the individual measures in a budget, but overall still gave it the thumbs down. It is the whole package that counts.

In this case, there appears to be a cautious thumbs up: 39% thought it was a fair budget, 31% thought it was unfair, a big improvement on last year’s budget which 48% thought was unfair (and that was even before most of the pasty tax coverage!). However, while people support the individual measures and think the budget was fair… they still aren’t convinced it is going to do any good. Only 14% think it leaves the country better off, compared to 52% who think it will make no real difference and 24% who think the country will be worse off.

Neither has it helped George Osborne’s own ratings – only 22% think he is doing a good job, down from 24% at the end of last year and 28% at the last budget. He is still preferred to Ed Balls though – 31% think Osborne would make the better Chancellor, 25% Balls.


210 Responses to “YouGov/Sun post-budget poll”

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  1. @Tinged Fringe

    “If this continues, the budget will have made absolutely no impact on VI – which is not the worst case scenario for the Cons.”

    Indeed. Given Anthony’s comments on the general effect of budgets on polling, and given that the Conservatives had to raise their game from the 2012 budget, it’s a case of ‘so far, so good’, or if I may quote a Megadeth album title. “So Far, So Good, So What.” – which might be more appropriate.

  2. “If this continues, the budget will have made absolutely no impact on VI – which is not the worst case scenario for the Cons.”

    ————-

    Since budgets are generally presented in their best possible light, and the bad bits hidden away more, and unfortunate ramifications tend to get revealed over time… it’s possible that “no change” early on isn’t all that great.

    Last year, there was probably an initial hit to VI owing to the ending of the “we’re all in it together” thing. But that wasn’t the end of it as the pasty tax.etc. more gradually grew into the omnishambles…

    May not happen this time but there are some issues concerning the housing help thing, the “interesting” deficit manipulations, the hit to schools and hospitals on NI etc…

  3. COLIN
    ” ‘essentially” …….No John-it is a way of saying “intrinsically” , or “fundamentally” , or “inherently”….
    A Thesaurus will help you get the picture.”

    Actually, no, Colin; your use of “essentially” -or any other of these reduntant adverbs – is well identified as a persuasive definition, one that contains an imperative (Stevenson, Ethics and Language, if I remember rightly) I don’t intend to engage further on this issue,or in this pleasant blog for the time being. My only reason for this breach of promise was that, as it oddly happens, the day job at the moment involves the social and economic benefits of highways investment strategy to the population of a former war torn and refugee SE Asian population. They also have the highest growth rate in the world, so I am informed, so the place of highways and transportation systems in productivity and employment is quite a real issue. So, no, I don’t think hunting through the thesaurus for words meaning similarly s-d all will be my first priority for the while.

  4. Laszlo
    “Boom in economic terms is the period when the economy reaches the previous maximum size (after a recession) till the next downturn.”

    Surely that is the “upswing of the cycle” rather than a “boom”.

    Consider. You have a recession that wipes, say, 4% off GDP, followed by a permanent growth rate of 0.5%. After a bit less than 8 years, you are back at pre-recession GDP. If you then continue to grow at 0.5%, you will have a GDP higher than the previous peak, but there will certainly be no feeling of “boom”. You will have permanent, structural massive unemployment, and/or greatly depressed wages compared to the pre-recession era.

    I’d suggest that a “boom” can be defined in two ways.

    1) A sustained period in which GDP grows to levels significantly above its long term trend.
    Or
    2) A sustained period in which GDP grows at a rate significantly above the capacity of the economy to maintain without inflationary pressures developing.

    Using 1 makes it relatively easy to assess whether a given period is a “boom”.

    2 is probably more technically accurate, although identifying the non-inflationary growth capacity of the economy is some task.

    But simply equating “growth” with “boom” is, as far as I can see, illogical and not particularly helpful.

  5. I would some up all the boom debate by saying perhaps we didn’t have an overall economic boom during the Blair years when you examine the figures. but we without any shadow of a doubt had a consumer credit boom. I think this was the point I was trying to make. Apologies if this was made badly!

  6. Article in the New Statesman measuring the rise in negative articles in the media about disability and considering the impact of that on negative attitudes towards the disabled…

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/03/disabled-people-have-never-had-it-so-bad

    “Does negative media coverage affect public attitudes? Almost certainly: in our report we showed that the level of negativity in the newspapers people read had an effect on their perceptions of benefit fraud, even controlling for other factors that influence attitudes. Media coverage is not the only factor, and probably not the most important factor, but it serves to reinforce suspicions and ill-founded grievances against all people of working age on benefits, including disabled claimants…

    …And as we showed in our report, politics is the big driver of negative coverage, with Conservative, Labour and the coalition governments all playing a role.”

  7. @ LeftyLampton

    “I’d suggest that a “boom” can be defined in two ways.
    1) A sustained period in which GDP grows to levels significantly above its long term trend.
    Or
    2) A sustained period in which GDP grows at a rate significantly above the capacity of the economy to maintain without inflationary pressures developing.
    Using 1 makes it relatively easy to assess whether a given period is a “boom”.
    2 is probably more technically accurate, although identifying the non-inflationary growth capacity of the economy is some task.”

    The problem with these definitions is that they ignore that cycles are inherent to the capitalist economy and try to posit that recessions are exceptions. The point is that growth happens through cycles – the reinvestment in capital assets roughly at the same time by different firms inevitably triggers the deterioration of the rate of return and makes the recession inevitably.

    Towards the second part of the boom period (see below), lots of Ponzi projects and investments happen, that is firms borrow in order to finance non-existent (hoped) profits, often to finance previous borrowing. This is typical for feverish periods – and there were plenty of this in the mid-2000s. In boom rate of return deteriorates, in crisis it starts to recover.

    There are four phases of the cycle:

    1) Crisis: from the top point of the size of the economy to the bottom of the drop.
    2) Depression: from the bottom until the economy starts to grow.
    3) Recovery: from the point when the economy starts to grow until the economy reaches the previous level of activity.
    4) Boom: from the previous high point to the next crisis.

    Apart from this, your definitions are essentially the ones that were invented to justify monetary policies with which governments or central banks believed that they got rid of boom and bust (it wasn’t GB, Truman already said it). So, there is no long-term trend of growth as defined by real factors. Long-term trend is a monetary policy definition that has nothing to do with the real economy. It is actually comes from the same consideration as the “natural rate of unemployment”.

    There is no such a thing as non-inflationary growth, or rather growth and inflation are secular processes. Again it is an invention for justifying particular monetary policies.

  8. @Laszlo – I don’t think we’re really going to bottom this one out. Probably best to just agree that booms are like love – it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

  9. @ Alec

    You are right.

  10. @ Alec

    I thought that it was beauty which was in the eye of the beholder.

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