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Ed Balls, Labour’s Fiscal Policy & Economic Trust

Ed Balls announced yesterday at the Fabian’s new year conference that if Labour were to win power in 2015 they would raise the top rate of income tax to the previous 50% level for earnings above £150,000 – something that should not surprise many given Labour’s oft-repeated “tax cut for millionaires” government attack line.

Mr. Balls also provided further insight into Labour plans for fiscal policy saying a 2015 Labour government “will balance the books and deliver a surplus on the current budget and falling national debt in the next Parliament” the full text of the speech’s content is online at Labour List here:

Following the speech, on behalf of the Mail on Sunday we asked 1060 people the following questions and provide here the top line answers. The full data tables are available here.  There is no voting intention associated with this poll but we did ask the sample to declare their 2010 vote.

There is as you will see, broad public agreement that those earning over £150,000 should currently pay a higher share of tax as proposed although opinions are mixed as to potential policy risks.  Labour, as the party are well aware have clear work to do on economic credibility – the public thought it unlikely that Labour could deliver that budget surplus by 57 %to 22%.  In Labour’s favour, despite Ed Balls’ persistent lower trust rating on the economy relative to George Osborne (see below) the combined trust score of the pair at 54% only just outstrips “don’t know” for voters.

Damian Lyons Lowe

Please note, if you are a media or policy organisation that is interested in commissioning fast-turnaround polls – this survey was designed, executed and tabulated by Survation in a matter of hours from conception to delivery to meet print deadlines. Do get in touch if you  think this type of work would add value to your organisation.

Survation/Mail on Sunday – Snap Poll, Saturday Jan 25th 1060 respondents:

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls announced today that if Labour wins power it will raise the top rate of income tax from the current 45p in the pound to 50p in the pound for those with earnings over £150,000. To what extent to you agree or disagree with this proposal?

Agree Strongly 35%
Agree Somewhat 25%
Neither agree nor disagree 15%
Disagree somewhat 9%
Disagree Strongly 8%
Don’t know 8%

Net Agree 60%
Net Disagree 17%
=> Conservative 2010 Voters – 39% Agree 33% Disagree

Which of the following statements do you agree with most?

Labour has made this move as a genuine money raising exercise – 32%
Labour has made this move to target the rich for party political reasons – 47%
Don’t know 21%

Which of the following statements do you agree with most?

Raising the top rate of tax risks discouraging those who create wealth in the UK such as entrepreneurs and business people – 35%
Raising the top rate of tax does not risk discouraging those who create wealth in the UK such as entrepreneurs and business people – 45%
Don’t Know – 20%

Which of the following statements do you agree with most?

Raising the top rate of tax to 50p in the pound will mean those that create wealth are less likely to want to stay in or come to Britain. – 36%
Raising the top rate of tax will not mean those that create wealth are less likely to want to stay in or come to Britain. – 42%
Don’t know – 22%

Ed Balls also said today that Labour will balance the UK’s books and deliver a budget surplus in the next Parliament if it wins the 2015 election. Which of the following statements do you agree with most?

Labour are likely to achieve this objective – 22%
Labour are unlikely to achieve this objective – 57%
Don’t know – 21%

Who do you trust more on the economy?

Ed Balls – 25%
George Osborne – 29%
Don’t know – 46%

Who do you trust more on the economy?

Ed Miliband – 29%
David Cameron – 34%
Don’t know – 38%

Who do you trust the most to understand the needs of British businesses?

Ed Miliband – 26%
David Cameron – 34%
Don’t know – 39%


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