Sunday Polls

Today’s results for the Sunday Times are up online here. Topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%. On the leader good job/bad job ratings Cameron’s net score is minus 12 (up 3), Miliband’s is minus 38 (down 3), Nick Clegg’s is minus 58 (down 7). 75% now think Clegg is doing a bad job as Lib Dem leader, just 17% a good job. It represents Clegg’s worst score since last May.

THE ECONOMY

The regular economic trackers are continuing to get better (or at least, less bad). 44% of people now think the government are managing the economy well, 48% badly – their best score since 2010. The feel good factor (the proportion thinking they’ll be better off in the next year minus those who think they’ll be worse off) has risen above minus 20 for the first time since the election.

YouGov also asked a question about what people’s reaction to Labour having a agenda that was criticised by big business (often pollsters ask questions which become out of date by the time they are published because of changing events. This one was the opposite, we asked it before Ed Balls announced 50p and got laid into by business interest groups, so for once events made it become more topical!). 45% think it would be bad for the economy if Labour won with policies that large businesses were unhappy with, only 18% think it would be good. On people’s own personal finances 29% think it would be bad, 15% good. (Note that it isn’t actually possible to tell if people think the policies that business is unhappy about would be bad for the economy, or just Labour winning per se. In hindsight it would have been good to have a split sample, with half getting a control question that just asked about a Labour government)

In a separate Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday, 60% of people supporting re-introducing the 50p top rate, roughly the same sort of proportion who opposed it being abolished in the first place.

SYRIAN REFUGEES

Going back to the YouGov poll, on balance people are opposed to Britain accepting refugees from Syria, but not by a vast amount. 47% think we should not accept any, 39% think we should – considering how hostile polls often are on issues of immigration this is closer than one might have thought! Those people who support accepting Syrian refugees are actually rather generous in regard of the number we should accept. While politicians are discussing a few hundred, 40% of those who support accepting Syrian refugees think we should offer to take more than 1000.

ROYAL FAMILY

Most of the rest of YouGov’s poll dealt with the Royal family and the gradual handover of the Queen’s duties to Charles. The public gradually seem to be coming round to the idea of the Queen cutting down on commitments, and to Charles’s future succession. While a majority of people would still oppose the Queen abdicating, 47% of people would now support her abdicating in the future if she were to become too ill to regularly carry out royal duties or appear in public. 46% of people would still prefer her to remain Queen for life, even if she handed over her duties to other family members. This is the first time YouGov have shown more people in favour than opposed to the Queen abdicating if she becomes too ill to continue work.

There is very widespread support for Charles taking over more of the Queen’s duties, 75% think it is a good idea, only 13% a bad idea. By 42% to 36% people would even support Charles taking over ALL the Queens current roles and responsibilities as Prince Regent, allowing the Queen to effectively retire.

Over the last decade YouGov have asked if people would prefer to see Charles succeed as monarch, or the crown skip a generation to William. Having seen a peak in favour of William after the royal wedding, the public now seen reconciled to Charles as King, with 53% now saying the crown should pass to him, only 31% saying it should skip a generation. It’s the first time this question has shown support for Charles as King rise over 50%. There has not been a similar increase in support for Camilla becoming Queen. Only 17% think she should have the title of Queen, a figure that has remained steady for the last six years.

ICM in SCOTLAND

There is also a new ICM poll on the Scottish referendum, conducted for Scotland on Sunday. Unlike most Scottish referendum polling, normally notable for its stability, this one actually shows a significant change! 37% say they would vote YES, up 5 points from ICM’s last Scottish poll in September, 44% say they would vote NO, down 5 points from September.

John Curtice already has a detailed trawl through the poll here and unlike me he has the luxury of having seen the tables. He picks up one particularly interesting thing: the swing since September is strongly concentrated amongst young people. Amongst over 45s there’s no change, amongst people aged 25-44 support for YES is up 6 points, amongst under 25s it’s up 33 points (!). That rings a few alarm bells, but as ever, one shouldn’t read too much into very small subsamples – it could mean ICM had a weird sample that gave them a weird results, or that they had a weird group of under 25s but the overall sample was fine, or that there genuinely is a big shift towards YES amongst younger voters. We shall see.


296 Responses to “Sunday Polls”

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  1. We do live in strange times when the relentlessly partisan and right wing Mail on Sunday is doggedly pursuing a right wing Tory MP for dressing up as a Nazi at a friend’s stag do in France. Labour MP wearing Stalin mask at Gulag celebration, yes, but I thought they might be rather more sympathetic with cases like this!! My preference with these sorts of “MP done wrong” affairs is always for the buffoon’s constituents to deliver their verdict come election time, but this tragi-farce has taken a rather interesting turn. The man in question, our old friend, Aidan Burley, he of the “Danny Boyle’s Olympic opening ceremony was left wing crap” fame, appears to have told the internal party inquiry into his antics some rather large porkies, certainly according to the Mail on Sunday.

    Accordingly, it’s quite possible that the party may remove the whip from him, although I suspect he’s not the sort of person to go quietly. Embarrassment and poor publicity may lie ahead, if not a rather awkward by-election too.

    Linking this rather ludicrous incident to polling and the support that the parties are currently receiving, I wonder if the antics of people like Burley may point us to clues why there is this rather curious reluctance, beyond the dedicated faithful, for people to pin their colours to the Tory mast? If you lived in a Littlejohn bubble, you may think he’s mainstream, but there is a much larger non-Tory world out there than a lot of our right-centric commentariat think.

  2. Not sure why my longer comment is in moderation… But the Laffer Curve’s assumptions apply only to flat tax of all a person’s income.

    It has not been demonstrated that increasing a progressively banded income tax’s marginal rate on what you earn above the top bracket amount has a Laffer Curve.

  3. I don’t think THe Laffer Curve featured in Ball’s thinking at all-or even the putative tax take.

    Indeed Balls has said it would be in place only until the Deficit is eliminated-so the term of the next Parliament is its maximum life-and it will take a year to get the legislation in place.

    The point of this policy is not Tax Revenue-it is to ensure Cons are seen to be defending “THe Rich”.

  4. Personally, I think an announcement to double the funding of the HMRC and ban the HMRC from making ‘settlements’ with tax paying entities without public or judicial review, would be a more serious one regarding collecting taxes.

  5. @Colin

    “Indeed Balls has said it would be in place only until the Deficit is eliminated-so the term of the next Parliament is its maximum life-and it will take a year to get the legislation in place.
    The point of this policy is not Tax Revenue-it is to ensure Cons are seen to be defending “THe Rich””

    I’d draw quite the opposite conclusion. He’s billing it as an emergency measure to help out with tax receipts in an hour of need.

  6. @NeilA

    I’m surprised you can’t see the difference between an annual charitable event based on a centuries-old tradition and growing numbers of people depending on regular, weekly handouts (which the non-partisan Trussell Trust blames on ‘benefit delays, welfare reform and low pay’).

    Not the place to discuss that here except that I do think their present ubiquity will affect perceptions of the extent to which the economy is improving among the otherwise comfortably off faced with requests for donations outside the supermarket.

  7. @ Colin,

    If that’s the goal, it’s working a treat. (Although weren’t you betting the deficit would still be merrily chugging along at the end of the next parliament under a Balls chancellorship? The 50p rate could be in place for decades!)

    Ed Miliband said during the Labour leadership campaign that he wanted to keep it in place permanently, though. So there are some parts of the Labour Party that see it as an inherently responsible policy rather than just a convenient dividing line with the Tories in the run-up to an election.

  8. @ Jayblanc

    As far as I know EB knows that the Laffer curve doesn’t exist as he read E. Neil’s article that refers to Gardner’s article that uses real US tax data showing that the Laffer curve is just a badly rolled up cotton ball.

    Laffer himself drew the curve on a serviette at a dinner to explain his stance….

  9. @RogerH

    Harvest Festival “Food Collections” were always more about making people feel good about themselves, and conspicuous consumption, given the nice face of helping the poor. There is really really very little benefit to a collection of old tinned foods once every september, and the bulk of ‘food collection’ in this way ends up thrown out as inedible.

    The majority of “Food Banks” actually buy in bulk from cash donations, and don’t have the time or resources to sort through piecemeal donations of that kind from the public.

    As for Food Banks existing in the UK before 2010, yes they did. But their use was minimal, and more intended as catastrophic-incident (ie, house burnt down) relief. There are plenty of graphs that show the result of Food Banks having to cover the widening gaps in the welfare safety net since 2010. It is hard to dismiss an over 5x increase of Food Bank use over three years.

  10. OLDNAT
    @ STATGEEK
    ……
    The BBC responded to a complaint about Brian Taylor’s “Big Debate” programme that had the (quite “normal”) 3 Unionists and one Independence supporter – ie the usual political party balance – with this statement

    “we are not in an official referendum campaign and therefore do not have to balance it out between yes and no.”
    ______

    This is a very valid point. If you take the panel members on the BBC & STV during the Cowdenbeath by-election both networks had 3 pro union representatives and one pro indy.

    Now if the topics they covered were to do with Health, housing, bus passes, education, welfare reforms and a host of local issues then fine but the whole debate on both channels were themed on independence resulting on a 3-1 biased scenario in favour of the unionists.

    Imagine if the BBC/STV had Nicola Stugeon, Margo Macdonald, Patrick Harvey and Iain Grey debating the by-election before and after and the topic was themed on independence?

    Oh dear a public inquiry me thinks.

  11. @Anarchists Unite: “The debate surely isn’t about whether the Laffer Curve exists, but rather about it’s shape, and where “peak efficiency” is realised (hence the discussion about “48%”)”

    The Laffer Curve is not about efficiency or marginal tax revenue above a certain rate; its claim is that total tax revenue will be reduced. Even Osborne’s own (disputed) figures from cutting the 50% rate to 45% estimated a revenue loss of £100m pa so that didn’t verify it.

    The Laffer Curve is a fantasy theory that really was drawn up on the back of a napkin. As far as I know no one’s ever produced any real world evidence to support it.

  12. I don’t remember anyone on this thread commenting about how this ST YG poll displays how last week’s ‘events’ did not seem to move the polls much. I seem to remember, for instance, not a few posters predicting a ‘6’ for LD by the end of the week. Perhaps they could come back and tell us why this did not happen?.

  13. ICM POLL

    I finally managed to get a copy of the new look Scotland on Sunday and note that they are previewing that there will be more on their ICM poll tomorrow in The Scotsman.

    That being the case we should anticipate Euro and Scottish/Westminster party ratings as well as leadership ratings.

    This should give us a good insight into the real state of play in Scotland.

    Questions like – Will UKIP make a breakthrough in Scotland or is Farage a giant turn off?

    Is the SNP still ahead or has Labour recovered?

    Does Salmond still dominate the northern political scene?

    Are there any Liberals left in the entire country?

    In my book ICM is the “gold standard” and this will be a significant poll.

    My forecasts would be very little cheer for UKIP even in the Euros, SNP and Salmond still ahead of Labour , one or two Libs left but not very many. We shall see.

    Any other forecasts?

  14. @ Jayblanc,

    It is hard to dismiss an over 5x increase of Food Bank use over three years.

    You’d think so, wouldn’t you, but you’d be wrong. Ministers seem to be very skilled at it.

  15. @ HOWARD

    Re my prediction of the Lib Dems hitting 6% in the polls. Probably under-estimated what the bottom level is for them. There are obviously a minimum of 8% of people polled who are certain to continue voting for them and will not be shaken by the current problems affecting the party.

    As other people have pointed out, perhaps those that voted Lib Dem in 2010, but have moved their support to other parties, are now firm supporters of other parties or may be don’t knows. I expect that in 2015, some of these will move back to the Lib Dems.

  16. @RogerH,

    A Laffer Curve doesn’t make any “claim” that tax rates will be reduced. It’s simply a graphical representation of a concept. In fact, at lower levels of taxation, the Laffer Curve suggests that that increasing taxes does indeed increase revenue. If all other considerations were ignored, and maximising tax revenue were the only thing that mattered, a Laffer Curve would actually be a better tool for the left than for the right (the left being able to argue, as Osborne’s figures showed, that we are currently on the “left slope” of the curve, not on the “right slope”).

    In simple terms, at lower tax rates, all a Laffer Curve tells you is “if you increase tax rates, you will get more revenue”. Do the left really want to gainsay that? What are you saying, “if you increase tax rates, there’s no way to know whether you will get more revenue because the Laffer Curve is just a fantasy but lets just do it because we hate wealthy people and want to annoy them”)?

  17. That should be over estimated

  18. @Neil A

    I believe you’ve misunderstood it.

    “Laffer presented the curve as a pedagogical device to show that, in some circumstances, a reduction in tax rates will actually increase government revenue and not need to be offset by decreased government spending or increased borrowing.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve

    Total revenue, not marginal revenue:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Laffer-Curve.svg

  19. Well my response has gone into moderation but hopefully this cut-down version will get through:

    @Neil A

    I believe you’ve misunderstood it.

    “Laffer presented the curve as a pedagogical device to show that, in some circumstances, a reduction in tax rates will actually increase government revenue and not need to be offset by decreased government spending or increased borrowing.”

  20. Total revenue, not marginal revenue:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Laffer-Curve.svg

  21. Hi Guymonde,

    I might have been thinking wishfully (many hours back) and I certainly hope I was right! But Labour’s 38% (if 38% it is) seems impervious to the Tory economic argument, and that needs explaining.

    Some will argue it’s not 38% at all. Some will say its persistence is an accident, or that it reveals merely short term irritation with the Tories by people who are much more at home on the right than the left, or (as argued today) people simply urging the Tories to get cracking. Others again feel that self-interest is key: as it becomes clear that austerity is producing results, that 38% will be gone.

    Personally, I find it hard to accept the ‘cunning voter’ argument. People state their voting intentions, and follow polls – where follow them they do – in the serious hope that what they think and feel will prevail. Dissimulate, and you might convince other people that the cause you believe in is lost, after all. Self-interest is a powerful argument – especially if it links with limited understanding, or gullibility – but if that were ruling the polls you would have expected more fluctuation over the life of the ;parliament, as the economic picture brightened and faded – wouldn’t you?

    I could just be being hopeful, however, and if my explanation of the enduring 38% goes belly up, my hypothesis for 2015 goes straight in the bin with it. I think it’s the hypothesis that best fits the facts available right now though.

  22. @RogerH,

    No, I think I understand it. It’s just that the “some circumstances” in your paragraph means “when tax rates are on the right hand slope of the curve”. The other circumstances, in which increased rates mean increased revenue, is when rates are on the left slope of the curve.

    There are two real disputes I think. One is where the left slope ends and the right slope begins (the pivot point) and the other is the actual shape of the curve either side. It seems a lot of ecnomists think the left slope is fairly shallow, but very long (up towards the 70% plus range) and the right slope is much steeper. In other words, you can keep squeezing for a long time, and the pips don’t squeak until you’re really clamping them hard. But when they do squeak, they positively howl.

  23. @Neil A

    Again, I have to point out this simple point… The Laffer Curve’s theory works on a Flat Tax model. It’s basis is consideration of taxation on a simple percentage of all income.

    It does not consider marginal rates, so applying it to the highest marginal rate of progressively banded tax rates is entirely incorrect.

  24. On the Laffer curve. M. Gardener: Laffer curve and other laugh… Scientific American December 1981

  25. Ah, apparently use of the word ‘Flat’ and ‘Tax’ together put the comment into moderation.

    @Neil A
    Again, I have to point out this simple point… The Laffer Curve’s theory works on a Flat (moderation separator) Tax model. It’s basis is consideration of taxation on a simple percentage of all income.

    It does not consider marginal rates, nor does it’s theory apply within separate brackets of income, so applying it to the highest marginal rate of progressively banded tax rates is entirely incorrect.

  26. Just posting a comment to see if I’ve not triggered auto-mod on all my comments?

  27. The Laffer curve effect is (presumably) linked to the higher likelihood of tax avoidance and evasion when rates go up. That’s one reason we should get out of income tax and look elsewhere, in my well-worn opinion, but until we do that, we could always limit tax avoidance to (say) 10% of one’s income – after which any and every scheme becomes evasion by definition. That would cause a flutter in the dovecots, (although I am of course saying it to annoy the rich, Neil A!)

  28. I’ve tried to post some economic explanations about marginal tax, using entirely non-partisan language, but something in them is triggering auto-mod. Since I don’t know what the naughty-phrases are, I’m a bit stifled in trying to explain the issues.

  29. L HAMILTON

    My forecasts would be very little cheer for UKIP even in the Euros, SNP and Salmond still ahead of Labour , one or two Libs left but not very many. We shall see.

    Any other forecasts”
    _______

    I think your forecast is quite accurate and I can’t see Labour being ahead of the SNP in Scotland nor will UKIP make a break through and the Libs, well I think they will be slugging it out with the likes of the Scottish communist party for the left-overs.. no pun intended!!
    ….
    “Any other forecasts?”

    Aye the weather will be shi#e ;-)

  30. crossbat11

    There is something going on here that many of us are missing….

    —-

    I mentioned it a while ago.

    UKIP, Con, Lab are all a distraction from what really matters; namely the voters who moved from LD to LAB.

    That movement happened in late 2010. And it has never unwound. Nor is it going to unwind (perhaps a few points but no more than that).

    Consequently LAB are heading for a minimum of 35%. And probably a little more. Stopping them being the largest party is virtually impossible for CON.

    All the rest.. UKIP.. little movements to CON or whatever.. it’s all missing the point. The LD vote is static. Those lost voters have gone to LAB for the next GE.

  31. Colin – I agree that the ‘cunning voter’ telling pollsters lab to get the Govt moving is far-fetched.

    I guess the 35% wallers Ganesh, Hodges etc would argue that 38% is really 35% once the WV/DK phenomenon is removed.

    Voters will of course vote lend in Euro Elections with some anti-EU cons placing the X with the UKIP. Maybe some LDs will do similar things in areas where they have no chance?

  32. @Neil A

    But the sole distinguishing feature of a Laffer Curve is that it has a right-hand downward slope, one that changes direction with total revenue falling. There’s nothing original or remarkable about the left-hand slope, i.e. that marginal revenue will start to fall as taxes are increased; that’s pretty basic economic theory.

  33. Continuing discussion of the Laffer Curve – a controversial and unproven theory indeed

    It is interesting and for gross movements in taxation may be interesting but remember what we are talking about here

    Labour are proposing a 5% (yes 5%) increase in taxation to raise funds. Their estimation is that this will earn 3 billion from people who paid 45% previously. This is a simple calculation

    The view from the media and opponents is that this 5% will lead to reduced revenue based on the same arguments on the Laffer Curve and the belief that this 3 billion is off-set by some sort of altruistic act that means they will in fact start paying more than they do now.

    I find this argument against a rise pretty feeble to be honest but then again that is only to be expected as all the commentators on it would be affected

    I have also heard a lot of comments this weekend on the news that Osborne’s forecasts were all right and Balls has been proven wrong. Hague and Marr this morning, and some cockney wide boy on Sky yesterday. They are never challenged. I wish they would look back on the predictions made by Osborne in 2010 about the economy in 2014….

    Finally, there seems to be some astonishment about growth. Noone expected growth never to return – it was all about sustainability and timing. Oh for the benefit of having our own currency so that QE and interest rates can be used to pump in liquidity…

  34. @ L Hamilton

    Only one or two Lib Dems? But who will replace them? Tories? Labour? SNP? How marginal are the Lib Dem seats in Scotland? I remember many years ago Russel Johnston getting into Westminster for Inverness-shire on, I think, under 30% of the vote in what was then a four-way marginal. So many Lib Dem seats are held by the personal vote, rather than the party vote.

    Or is all that changing?

  35. @COLIN DAVIS: “The Laffer curve effect is (presumably) linked to the higher likelihood of tax avoidance and evasion when rates go up”

    Not really. Those are some explanations for marginal revenue falling (which is generally accepted). Laffer’s theory is that total revenue falls.

  36. @Jayblanc – “Personally, I think an announcement to double the funding of the HMRC and ban the HMRC from making ‘settlements’ with tax paying entities without public or judicial review, would be a more serious one regarding collecting taxes.”

    Precisely.

    My response to the notion that rich people might find ways to avoid paying tax if you upped their marginal rate by 5% would be to emloy sufficient HMRC inspectors to [email protected]@dy well stop them doing so.

    I do think, however, that Labour needs to nail this anti business meme. It could become damaging, as we know GO is prone to asking city types to write letters to newspapers.

    For me, Labour is doing well enough in general for small businesses, but if they were to get on with strong moves to incentivise investment, that is very good for growth, as well as their own reputation with business.

  37. Allan

    My point exactly. If our hunch is right such findings would have a significance beyond a run of the mill poll.

    If UKIP are struggling in Scotland but ruling the roost in England then it opens up the European debate in a direction which greatly favours YES in the referendum.

    If Salmond and the SNP are still riding high then they are defying political gravity – ahead after seven years in Government – again significant for the referendum.

    If the Libs are dying on their feet then the tensions between the Westminster coalition partners – one of which is set for the knackers yard – must grow – again it will play in to referendum.

    On the other hand if tomorrow’s poll shows a different trend then the boost for YES will be limited to today’s findings.

    The really important thing is that our hunches – important though they might be – would not be entirely unexpected as the outcome of tomorrow’s results.

    I see that the Political Bettting guru’s reaction to ICM was to invest a few quid on YES at current odds. Might be a good idea if tomorrow’s poll truns up more trumps for the NATS,

  38. @RogerH,

    So are you arguing that there is no right hand slope at all? That tax revenue continues to rise all the way up to, and including, 100% rates?

    If someone offered to make me Chief Constable, with a £120k pa pay rise, but told me that all of that additional revenue would go straight to HMRC, so that I was paid as a constable, I’m pretty sure I’d say “thanks but no thanks”.

  39. @Alec, JayBlanc,

    I absolutely agree that the biggest issue is not “what rate should be paid by those who pay tax” but “how on earth to we get taxes out of those who don’t pay tax?”

    I just suspect that it’s probably not all that easy. Certainly in my limited experience (liaising with HMRC about suspected gangsters with lots of visible wealth but no declared income) I’ve found that it’s almost impossible to prove anything. Between the poor quality of record-keeping, and the availability of extremely lax foreign jurisdictions, we are on a complete loser from the start. I suspect a complete re-write of UK tax law, rather than just an increase in the HMRC budget, is in order.

  40. @ David in France

    The shift from Lib Dem to Labour may well keep Labour at 35% for now, and with the in-built pro-Labour bias of seat distribution (thanks to the Lib Dems!!!) they may well survive the “improving economy” and come through the next Westminster GE with a majority. But it won’t be a big one. My guess is that they cannot hope for a majority of more than 20 if they are only 56 ahead at this point in the Parliamentary cycle.

    And in those circumstances, Devo Max stands no chance whatsoever.

  41. “So are you arguing that there is no right hand slope at all?”

    Yes, me and most economists.

    “That tax revenue continues to rise all the way up to, and including, 100% rates?”

    Yes. Total revenue rises although marginal revenue is likely to fall.

    “If someone offered to make me Chief Constable, with a £120k pa pay rise, but told me that all of that additional revenue would go straight to HMRC, so that I was paid as a constable, I’m pretty sure I’d say ‘thanks but no thanks’.

    That wouldn’t be a curve on the left-hand side, though. More like a cliff face. So basically a straw man argument.

  42. CROSSBAT11
    “this continuing lack or correlation between government approval ratings/responses to sub-questions (nearly always centre-right inclined)/leader’s personal ratings and the voting intention ratings.”
    COLIN DAVIS
    “Labour’s 38% (if 38% it is) seems impervious to the Tory economic argument, and that needs explaining.”

    The answer is possibly that the electorate are able to walk and chew gum at the same time – “the economy” measured by factors like inflation and employment is only part of a wider state of the nation, which – seen in the light of banker bonuses, food banks and children having to live at home and delay marriage into their thirties – calls for reform.

    COLIN
    What do you mean by “Full Employment” ? Do you mean everyone employed & no one unemployed, at any time ?
    ROGERH
    Beveridge defined it as 3% unemployment as there’s always a certain level of churn between jobs.

    Thanks Roger, Beveridge was right, of course, to set the figure at the base above the churning of changes in employment, but this should include new entries to the work force, transition between jobs and retirement, and changes in employment definition, to include contract, self employment and part-time jobs . The mix, however, has changed since Beveridge, and now includes the greater integration of the labour market with immigration and the EU. I believe most labour economists would define full employment in a future more stable UK market as between 4 and 5% – but that this has to be more art than science.

  43. @Neil A.

    For the sake of it, let’s assume a 100% marginal rate right at the top existed.

    If such a 100% tax bracket existed, then it’d hardly be logical for any company to offer pay levels above it.

    Would you turn down all the money *below* the 100% tax bracket, because you didn’t want to pay more taxes on principle?

    So in economic terms, a 100% tax bracket puts a cap on maximum wage. It is however an extreme determinative edge case.

    You can not plot a curve based on an edge case!

    Now instead let’s talk about the more realistic marginal rates, of, say 70%. Would you really still turn down the extra pay, because you wanted all of that extra pay not 30% of it? No? Then the ‘discourage making more money’ argument seems flawed.

  44. Also, there is historical precedent. The US maintained a top marginal rate of 70% or higher for a considerable amount of time. When the US reduced the marginal rates down to 80% and then 28% in the 80s, tax revenues against GDP went down.

  45. @NeilA

    Me: “Total revenue rises although marginal revenue is likely to fall.”

    More accurately, total revenue could eventually stall, i.e. marginal revenue of nothing. The Laffer Curve claims that it will go into reverse, though. Even in your chief constable example total tax revenue wouldn’t actually fall.

  46. Returning to the earlier discussion of the difficulties in polling the under 25s (ICM Scotland) what will be crucial is who gets ahead on the ‘social networks’ in the month between the return to school/college and the referendum on September 18.

    And it’s far too early to say that this poll indicates anything other than a temporary shift, if that.

  47. Neil A

    But we are not seeing a proposal at 70-80%+ where we may go into things in more detail but as mentioned even then it is not certain

    We are talking about a 5% rise – and the media howling has been clear. There will be a drop in revenue – pretty consistent across the board.

    Can you support this view?

  48. Hi John Pilgrim,

    I’d say “precisely” to your explanation. It would explain why the economy can improve and the government remains unpopular with a certain segment of the voters – and if that hypothesis holds, then marginal increases in some people’s income are not going to affect the 38%, who are leaning the way they do for other reasons.

  49. SPEARMINT

    @”If that’s the goal, it’s working a treat.”

    Yes I must accept that-but the GE result isn’t quite in yet.

    @ (Although weren’t you betting the deficit would still be merrily chugging along at the end of the next parliament under a Balls chancellorship?”

    No ?-I think the stuff in his speech about deficit reduction is mostly flim flam. It is cut through with equivocation-and anyway if he inherits the economy I think he will-it will be a doddle.

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