YouGov have their immediate post budget poll out tonight here, overall the budget was seen as fair by 43% of people, unfair by 33%. Compared to Osborne’s past budgets this is pretty so-so, the net rating is less positive than his last two budgets, but better than the mid-term budgets in the last Parliament. The rest of the poll asked about some of the individual measures in the budget:

  • The most popular are, predictably, the introduction of the National Living Wage and the increase in the personal tax allowance which both get overwhelming support.
  • After that limiting child tax credits to two children and lowering the benefit cap both get the support of two-thirds of respondents. There are some areas where government cuts to benefits are pushing up against public opposition, but with the benefit cap and limits on the number of children benefits are given for they still seem to have public opinion firmly on their side.
  • Meeting the 2% NATO target on defence spending and raising the inheritance tax threshold both get majority support. So, slightly to my surprise, did stopping housing benefit for under 21s (some previous polling had suggested opposition to this)
  • Moving the cost of television licences for over 75s to the BBC was supported by 49% of people (34% opposed), freezing working age benefits was supported by 46% (opposed by 36%) and cutting corporation tax was supported by 40% (opposed by 33%).
  • Only two of the measures YouGov asked about were opposed. Limiting public sector pay rises to 1% for the next four years was opposed by 51% of people. The abolition of student grants was opposed by 52% to 24%, the least popular of all the measures tested.

A so-so reception overall, though many of the individual measures were supported. A few important caveats – the first is that budgets are often a lot more or less than the sum of their parts. It is the overall impression a budget creates in people’s minds that matters, not an accounting exercise of “8 measures I like vs 2 measures I don’t like”. The second is that first impressions, while important, can sometimes be misleading. This poll was mostly taken on Wednesday evening and overnight, so most respondents will have answered it before seeing the newspapers’ reactions on Thursday morning and much of the response and debate about the budget on Thursday daytime (not least the IFS verdict on Thursday afternoon). YouGov will have some more in depth polling on the budget going out tonight and reporting tomorrow…

315 Responses to “YouGov budget polling”

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  1. Just been looking at a survey by Equifax the credit information provider – apparently 22% of respondents to its survey don’t believe a County Court Judgement will have an adverse effect on obtaining credit.
    Goldman Sachs were involved in selling Penn Central bonds just before that company became the then biggest US corporate bankruptcy ever in 1970 so they do have form. And Venezuela doesn’t have any beer left.

  2. OLLYT

    No, you could be a Chinese Communist.

    It is the unworldliness of it that is really damaging. Does she think that latex is indestructible?

  3. I see, so we should continue forking out to everybody because a very tiny percentage of the population might cock up (no pun intended) their birth control arrangements?

    I award you my “whataboutery” prize of the week!

  4. OLLYT

    Yes, exactly or find another way to deal with the problem. Do I really have to point out the problem with financially coercing people into having abortions?

    That is how competent policy makers work.

    For what it is worth, I only wish Kendall and Corbyn could both finish last.

  5. Ollyt
    Without wishing to start a partisan debate the purpose of child tax credit was never about supporting peoples lifestyle choice of having kids rather it was a societal acceptance that regardless of the reasons for having children, every child must be ensured a decent start in life and hopefully kept out of poverty. Thus maybe a discussion about means testing is in order but some perspective on the actual purpose and effect of the payment is necessary.

  6. “Lol, I never said the private sector never took any risks. Just that some are beyond their consideration.”

    Well that’s obvious. Unless you’re insane, there are some things that are too risky to consider.

    “Meanwhile olive trees are not quite the same as investing in the net now are they, because you are not spending decades developing a new technology and it doesn’t take nearly as much to plant a tree. And the market is already developed.”

    I didn’t mean to suggest that planting olive trees and developing global WAN networks are the same thing. The issue was whether or not the private sector is put off by things taking a long time to make a return. To grow olive trees, you do need to set aside land, time and labour for decades. The fundamental difference between that and developing commercial WAN networks is mostly a matter of scale, not time, and it was time that was the original point.

    You get more complicated examples than olive trees, e.g. the vast sums spent on basic scientific research by the private sector, which needs something like college good theories to explain it. However, olive trees prove the point perfectly well.

    Note that I’m saying what I’ve said, rather than e.g. “governments shouldn’t invest”.

  7. Rivers10


    It is poor politics as it would hit Catholic families hardest. Accidents would be more likely. I believe it may have happened to a political hero of hers indeed. Catholics tend to vote Labour.

  8. Good Afternoon All; as we approach the end of the school year, and with AFCB third in the Premiership Table.

    OLD NAT. Hello to you, Headmaster.
    Do you think the Lib Dem figure of six% looks a little high?

  9. ChrisLane

    I was thinking that it was a relatively good poll for Labour for only two months after an election defeat, but I don’t believe them any more!

  10. Chrislane1945

    You’ve promoted me!

    Schools here have been on hol since the end of June – hence the difference in term dates for Westminster and Holyrood.

    Good luck with getting supply work for next year. I gather that with some English agencies, you can also save tax by being employed by a Channel Islands company while living & working in England.

    Screwing the poor by dodging paying taxes sounds an appropriate tactic for any remaining Lib Dems (and Labour and Tory) :-)

  11. @Bill Patrick

    “Well that’s obvious. Unless you’re insane, there are some things that are too risky to consider.”


    It might be obvious, but you were arguing as if I had said otherwise. But the point is that many companies cannot AFFORD to take some risks the way the state can.

    Or economic conditions are such that it might be easier to make money in other ways, e.g. in more recent times banks preferring to lend more towards increasing assets rather than supporting manufacturing, because of inflating asset prices, especially property.

    You are also ignoring other reasons I gave while they might not take the risk: e.g. it’s against their business model (e.g. investing in cures when make s lot of money from treatments.

  12. @Bill Patrick

    “I didn’t mean to suggest that planting olive trees and developing global WAN networks are the same thing. The issue was whether or not the private sector is put off by things taking a long time to make a return”


    Just as I never said that business never takes risks, I also never said business never invests long term. However, given shareholder pressure for quick returns, they might prefer easier short-term pickings. Like sub prime loans…

    All I am saying, is that some of the time, business ignores or fails to invest in some longer-term options, and then the State can step in. And it does. E.g. the net. Or pulsed laser switching, or many other things.

    There is a business incentive to keep making money for treatments rather than investing long term for cures. Some of the time, cures will happen. But it was state action to eliminate small pox, a level of international co-ordination difficult for the private sector.

    Some of the time, the State assists long term private sector development. For example the space programme provided a market for early computer chips for years via the space programme until they were ready for mass market.

  13. @Rivers10

    I am aware that this is not the blog for partisan debate so I will just make one last comment – every item of public expenditure has as its core a belief that it is doing some good to someone somewhere so the logical conclusion of your argument is that nothing would ever be cut.

    Personally I am happy that even if a family has a dozen children my taxes will contribute to their education and healthcare. I am just don’t believe that in addition I need to subsidise their parents tax bills as well.

    My original polling point is that if 67% support removing the tax credit after 2 children then Labour is heading up a cul-de-sac if it persists in simply opposing every cut. It’s a valid political stance, it’s just dooming the party to being out of government for a very long time IMO.

  14. “Do you think the Lib Dem figure of six% looks a little high?”


    I know it’s impossible, but it’s still amazing they never scored a negative percentage. Especially with polling’s reliability these days…

  15. @Bill Patrick

    More recently, the government gas put millions into some genome research, £300 million in conjunction with the private sector. Without the State involvement, private sector might not have felt able to do it. Etc.

    Sometimes, it’s a national thing. In the last parliament, government put some more into grapheme research. Now, companies like Samsung elsewhere are putting lots of money into Graphene. But if we don’t happen to have a big company able to do that, we might miss out on all the economic potential, and there’s potentially a lot with something multifaceted like graphene. So government might step in with some funding.

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