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. So slightly positive for the Government which was to be expected as they were sure to avoid another 2012.

    Anthony – do any polls track how GO/EB are rated.

    I suspect that even thoughs prefering GO to EB do so by a smaller margin than at the beginning of last year.

    May be then GOvEB out of 10 average 7-4 whereas now 5-4 for example.

  2. I suspect that even those prefering GO to EB do so by a smaller margin than at the beginning of last year.

  3. Jim Jam – look at the tables! The last time YouGov asked the same question actually had Osborne and Balls neck and neck on 31% a piece, so Balls has gone backwards a bit.

  4. Looking back further, it is actually pretty stable. There have been a couple of points where Balls caught Osborne up, but generally it’s been stable.

    Jan 2011 – GO 27%, EB 27%
    Jun 2011 – GO 29%, EB 22%
    Jul 2011 – GO 25%, EB 23%
    Dec 2011 – GO 30%, EB 24%
    Mar 2012 – GO 31%, EB 25%
    Dec 2012 – GO 31%, EB 31%
    Mar 2013 – GO 31%, EB 25%

  5. Must say, this escalator thing is a jolly good wheeze.

    Instead of announcing unpopular tax rises every year you just set up an escalator and it goes up automatically thereafter. No need to announce a new increase each time.

    Then if you ditch the escalator or pause it it’s like you’re doing this wonderful thing as if it was a tax cut or something.

    Plus escalator maybe sounds better than tax. Like you’re going somewhere! !!…

  6. @Carfrew
    It depends on whether we are on the up escalator, or the down…

  7. JOHN RUDDY
    @Carfrew
    “It depends on whether we are on the up escalator, or the down…”

    ——

    Indeed. Maybe Vince could do a Mansion Tax escalator. ..

  8. @Steve

    Also the IFS are saying that by delaying things like World Bank payments they are avoiding showing how much the deficit is rising but of course storing up problems for later…

  9. jimjam

    “not up to job”

    Pease note I am Senior New Thread Monitor [RETIRED.] One can only take so many insults from the Director.

  10. Thanks Anthony but I was trying to make a point about how much people think GO is better than EB.

    When asked people have 3 choices i guess, GO, EB or neither.

    I was wondering ids any polls actually ask responents to score them – say out of 10. As I suspect that Whilst Balls’ rating will have remained as low as ever GOs will have declined.

    I often get accused of downplaying Labours chances by ‘my own side’ so it is not a prtisan point to make that in that GOs lead on the economy may well be worth less than it once was.

    You can retire Paul just buck up man!!

  11. JJ

    Woss “bucking-upping” involve – and does it involve getting out of bed?

  12. it means less time in the Turks, Coach, Beak or wherever you frequent when you neglecting your NTM duties!!!

  13. Jim Jam – Oh, I see what you mean. I can’t think of any data out there to measure it. You may well be right, given that Osborne’s own ratings have continued to decline while his lead over Balls has been broadly static.

    The obvious logical explanations are either that perceptions of Balls are also falling in tandem, or that some people have gone from “Osborne quite good, Balls indifferent/bad” to “Osborne indifferent or bad, but still better than Balls”.

  14. @ Carfrew

    “Also the IFS are saying that by delaying things like World Bank payments they are avoiding showing how much the deficit is rising but of course storing up problems for later…”

    It is not about you – only your quotation about the well respected IFS that gives me an opportunity to make my point. Well they work from government statistics, the government statistics are put together by civil servants and modified by ministers. The data comes from even lower public servants and other people who are under various incentives… The data itself is collected by certain predetermined criteria. And so forth.

    I would say that the 9 billion is nothing compared to what really is missing or surplus… Probably about 5 times or something like that (I would rather say 10x, but hopefully that one would be recognised). The tragedy is that we don’t even know if it’s deficit or surplus.

    IFS is rightly respected for its research and analysis. It’s probably best in the country. Only that it has no idea what’s really happening in the reality and believes that it can follow the money (hah…) in Whitehall… I really feel sorry for them… On the basis of their last three years’ analysis we absolutely have no idea why we are here…

    It doesn’t mean that they are not excellent, only that their work has nothing to do with the reality.

  15. If I was Ed M I seeing those long term poll ratings I would get rid of Balls. Personally I don’t mind him but people are not going to start liking or respecting him. If he polls lower than GO he is a big liability and EM is pretty shaky himself.

    The next election will be fought on the economy so at the time Labour start to outline their policies would be time for a new shadow chancellor. Some one charismatic and convincing.

  16. Before any misunderstanding. Not only the IFS doesn’t know, but the government doesn’t either.

    Can anyone remember the money from various public bodies frozen in some lovely high-interest Icelandic bank account? That, to be faithful to the line of story, is only the tip of the iceberg. Considering what’s going on in Cyprus… I wonder if any of our public bodies’ money is involved?

  17. @Laszlo

    Things like delaying World Bank payments are not really about statistics though. Delay the payment now, deficit appears less bad, but problems later.

  18. @ Carfrew

    I think they will find a cut off point of the next budget so that it doesn’t show two payments…

  19. That may hide the problem, but it is still papering over the cracks and disguising how bad they are making the deficit of course.

  20. Pretty positive reaction.

    And the “was it fair” question very encouraging-+8 vs -16 last year.

    Not bad at all.

    Doubt it will shift VI though.

  21. Just so that it is clear how little I understand world economics: who do we borrow money from, where do THEY get it from and where do they keep it?

    And what do they do if we then say:
    “Sorry, but we’re a bit short this year” ????

    Please keep answers simple.

    Ta velly much.

    Paul

    os

    Am feeling best for years after course of B12 injections – highly recommended.

  22. os = ps

  23. Very interest IFS Green Budget comments.

    These struck me particularly.

    “Social security spending is rising from 28.5% to 32.5% of all public spending between 2010-11 and 2017-18”

    “the top half of taxpayers already contribute 85%
    of revenue (at least of that which we can assign to households).”

    ““As economic performance and forecasts have worsened the Chancellor has followed a dual strategy. He is allowing borrowing to increase substantially in
    this parliament – allowing the automatic stabilisers to work – whilst promising another dramatic dose of public spending cuts in the next parliament. The effects of concentrating all those cuts on currently unprotected areas of public service spending look hard to contemplate. A more likely scenario perhaps is that other choices will be made after the next election. Taxes could rise, hitherto protected elements of public spending, like the NHS and pensions, could be hit, or the date at which we reach fiscal balance will be pushed further out. ”

    Tax rises after the next GE have seemed like an increasing possibility to me.

    If Social Spending continues to rise in the way IFS describe-despite the cuts in entitlement, and GDP growth in the future is not what it was in the “boom” decade, tax rises look almost inevitable.

    And as a larger & larger proportion of tax revenue is squeezed from the small group at the top-I wonder if all those increases in the Tax Free band at lower income levels through this parliament will just lead to a higher basic rate of IT ?

  24. Paul

    Very simply, all money is debt, the backing for all money is somebody’s promise to pay. When you borrow money from the bank you create that money from thin air because it’s your promise to pay which allows that money to be created. Without debt there can be no money,paying debts destroys money. Oddly enough because of the effect of interest there is not enough money to pay all the debts which is what is wrong with the world economy.

  25. @Colin
    “If Social Spending continues to rise in the way IFS describe”

    Am I wrong in thinking that the Social Security bill is rising mainly because more people are becoming unemployed or can only find temporary/part-time or lowly paid work and therefore have to be given state benefits?

  26. @ RiN

    You are perfectly right about the nature of money.

    The next question, however: since it has been going on in the UK at least since 1847, what conclusion do we draw from it?

  27. I heard a radio 4 program that suggested that around 2017 the Government would be spending the same proportion of GDP as in 2007. Assuming that schools, the NHS and pensions are protected as at present, this would mean that either the whole of the rest of public sector was cut by a third or that taxes had risen very substantially. Basically this would have nothing to do with the evil machinations of Brown or Osborne but everything to do with demographic change. Odd if this is the case that there is so little discussion about it.

  28. @ Colin

    You are right: tax rises are inevitable (well, not quite, but unlikely (for different reasons) for any party to make the moves that make it unnecessary). But it does not follow that a smaller proportion will pay higher taxes (cf excise duties, VAT, etc.)

  29. LIZH

    I thought unemployment was falling-or at least not increasing?

    In any event, those IFS stats look forward to 2017/18.

    I think this is a long term trend which includes the effect of an ageing population amongst other things.

    I believe it is a factor faced by most western societies.

  30. http://news.sky.com/story/1067186/unemployment-rise-announced-on-budget-day

    “However, the ONS also produces unofficial single-month estimates, which should not be ignored. And the picture they paint is not encouraging at all.
    In the single month of January, unemployment rose by 116,000 to 2.6 million – the highest level for just under a year.”

  31. Laszlo

    Well we could conclude that it’s very sustainable, but I don’t think that’s the right answer, of course what we have now is vastly different to 1847 both in structure and in scope

  32. The next election will be fought on the economy so at the time Labour start to outline their policies would be time for a new shadow chancellor. Some one charismatic and convincing.

    -Once Alistair has seen off the SNP in the Referendum they can have him back in post.

  33. Laszlo, given the scale IFS suggest, excise duties wouldn’t cut it.

    It would have to be Income Tax or VAT.

  34. @STEVE

    I was thinking that – but will September 2014 be early enough? I suppose it will he would still be on his honeymoon period come May 15. It could be quite clever of Labour especially if AD sets a new direction.

  35. and as a larger & larger proportion of tax revenue is squeezed from the small group at the top-I wonder if all those increases in the Tax Free band at lower income levels through this parliament will just lead to a higher basic rate of IT ?

    – Of course the figures exclude increased pension contributions,reduced benefits etc which some argue could be regarded as effectively taxes as well

    You also have to take account that around 80% of the Working population in the UK (90% of families) will see their income in real terms fall between 2010-2015 while the wealthiest are seeing significant sustained real terms increases.

    Also the higher rate pa means more people are not paying direct income taxes at all.

    Assuming tax rates are paid at approximately the same percentage of individual income over this period the richest will be paying more as a percentage of an overall smaller take .

  36. @ Richard iN

    it is different, having said that already in 1858 they suspended any regulation that obstructed fractional banking (for the period of the recession and then they repeated it again and again)….

    I wasn’t clear enough: the only way to get rid of fractional banking is by getting rid of capitalism. I wouldn’t mind that :-) , but if it happened it won’t be because of the particular function of the money.

    However the money crisis could accelerate various things or extend things… The interesting thing about the current (over 6 years now) banking crisis is that it is the recognition of losses made by the non-financial sector, but because of the nature of money it appears differently (as if it was all because of the banks).

    I genuinely think that any critique of the last decade or the solution proposed that is based on “the banks are the responsible ones” are wrong both theoretically and in practice. But it’s an easy way of blaming and these people are not particularly sympathetic anyway…

  37. Time to consider the dreaded financial transaction tax, even set at a very low rate it would raise massive amounts, possibly enough to scrap a lot of other taxes altogether as long as there is no reclaim like vat…

    it would not work if there was such.

  38. “I wonder if all those increases in the Tax Free band at lower income levels through this parliament will just lead to a higher basic rate of IT ?”

    It’s already happening to some extent. More and more people are being sucked into paying the higher rate of income tax simply because the higher rate threshold (the point at which the 40% rate appies) has been decreasing for several years and will do so again in 2014/15.

  39. Colin my money is on this one whoever gets in next time.

    ” or the date at which we reach fiscal balance will be pushed further out’

  40. Out of interest how much did / has Iraq / Afghanistan cost the taxpayer? How many miles of roads or trains would this have bought?

  41. @ Jack

    “Out of interest how much did / has Iraq / Afghanistan cost the taxpayer? How many miles of roads or trains would this have bought?”

    None. It doesn’t work like this (although we may think it should).

  42. @ Colin

    I’m sorry, I’m in the other end of the world right now, so I cannot check your response (if any) for another 9 hours…

    My bet is on VAT. A nice 5% on food and maybe on energy and blaming it on the EU…

    But it may not be needed. I alluded to the fact earlier that the budget concentrates about 40% of the GDP, there is always some money stuck in somewhere that can be claimed to be a resource – sometimes it is, sometimes just spinning.

  43. Looking at the election web site http://www.englishelections.org.uk/index.php andcollatting all of the byelections since 31st January the acutal votes have resulted in the following outcomes

    Labour 15 seat a net gain of 3
    LD 7 4
    UKIP 2 2
    Ind 2 0
    SNP 0 a net loss of 1
    Tories 0 8

    The Tories have lost seats to Labour, LD, Ukip and an Independant. The interesting thing is the way the votes have split/moved since the last set of elections in these seats, it seems that tacctical voting ia alive and well!

  44. @ ToJim

    The problem with the financial transaction tax is that it has no real basis. If we take the “official” considerations of such a tax real, then we should have a gambling tax (it does exist) on all stock market transactions (after all, they are gambling). Now that would be interesting (certainly would slow down the short-termism).

  45. Tojim

    I do wish folk wouldn’t talk about a transaction tax in terms of revenue raising, for me the more money such a tax raises the more ineffective it is similar to other sin taxes like the tobacco tax. We tax ciggies because we want to discourage smoking any rise in revenue from tobacco tax shows that the tax is ineffective. The aim of a transaction tax is to reduce speculation and make markets more stable, if it raises lots of money it’s not achieving it purpose

  46. Laszlo

    Snap

  47. I am somewhat possessive of a wry smile after it has been emphasised that Cypriot depositors, even after their proposed ‘hair cut’ (more of a light trim really) will have done a lot better in interest, net, over these last years (in euros don’t forget) than the depositors in the countries that will chiefly be bailing them out. As these northern savers include me, the smile is very, very wry.

    My reading of Dutch newspapers is that Dijsselbloem is ready to let the Cypriot banks go to the wall (and their government). As a result, the Cypriots are now expecting a new proposal to be submitted to parliament ‘within hours’.

    I expect there will be a fudge, there usually is.

  48. DAVEM
    I imagine the trend indicates local activists who now have a spring in their step, rather than a collapse of Con. Those web sites, btw, are very coy on turnout. Once you get below 35% the results don’t mean a fat lot in my experience.

  49. Laszlo
    I’m not sure that capitalism requires a fractional reserve system of banking, it did when money was gold but today money is purely fiat. The problem with gold is that it’s a fixed money supply but capitalism needs an elastic money supply,fractional banking got around this problem but today the state can and does expand and contract the money supply at will, although it chooses to do so through the banking system normally. But there is nothing to stop the state making money available to intermediarys to lend out and spending money into the economy when an expansion of the money supply is needed or desired, of course contracting the money supply is easy, just raise taxes without raising spending

  50. Jack

    But how much would it have cost for Alqaida (sp?) to have had the free reign they wanted? Don’t kid yourself, my friend.

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