The Conservative leadership contest descended into a tax-cutting circus this week.
Several MPs vying to become Prime Minister have pledged tens of billions of pounds of uncosted tax cuts if they win – in an unabashed attempt to appeal to the grassroots of the party.
Some want to reverse next year’s corporation tax rise, while others want to reduce income tax and VAT on fuel.
But are these MPs in tune with what Conservative voters want?
We’ve been polling Conservative voters since 2020 and we’ve found they often don’t back tax cuts, dislike tax avoidance and support wealth tax reforms and higher taxes on corporations.
Public services first
Our poll in 2020 found 45% of Conservative voters reject tax cuts if they result in cuts to public services. And just 28% support them.
While 46% of Conservative voters support paying more tax to fund public services – and just 28% are against this – the research found.
Another of our polls found that 74% of Conservative voters supported an increase in corporation tax. And just weeks ago, we reported that so-called Red Wall Conservatives were overwhelmingly in favour of a windfall tax on energy company profits.
When it comes to taxing wealth more, it’s a similar story. Our poll in 2020 found 66% of Conservative voters in favour of higher capital gains tax while our October 2021 poll found that 76% of Conservatives agreeing that the wealthy should pay more tax.
These figures should be a wake-up call for the Tory leadership hopefuls – they’re promising tax cuts the majority of their own voters don’t support.
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