New poll: keep the 50p rate but cut VAT

The public want the 50p tax rate to be made permanent, according to a New Statesman/ICD poll.

Barely a week goes by without George Osborne hinting that he will abolish the 50p tax rate in the near future. On Saturday he told the Today programme: "I don't see that as a lasting tax rate for Britain because it's very uncompetitive internationally, and people frankly can move."

However, an exclusive poll by ICD for the New Statesman shows that the public take a different view. Asked if the 50p rate should be made permanent, 34 per cent said yes and 30 per cent said no (see graph). But asked if the starting threshold for the top rate should be reduced from £150,000 to £100,000, something that Ed Balls has suggested remains a possibility, 44 per cent said no and 37 per cent said yes.

A

However, the poll found overwhelming support for Balls's proposal of a temporary cut in VAT. Asked if the government should adopt this policy, 68 per cent said yes and 20 per cent said no (see graph). There is also widespread support for a permanent cut in VAT, with 65 per cent in favour and 18 per cent opposed.

A

Osborne has persistently described the 50p rate as "temporary" and the VAT increase as "permanent". But the public, it seems, takes the reverse view.

This exclusive poll for the New Statesman was carried out by ICD Research, powered by ID Factor, from 6-7 August 2011 and is based on a sample of 1,000 responses

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

New Statesman
Show Hide image

Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.