Over a third of voters against tax rise as UK PM Johnson announces social care plans

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Over a third of voters against tax rise as UK PM Johnson announces social care plans

Fewer than 1-in-6 (15%) voters would support increasing National Insurance rates to fund social care reforms, new research by A J Bell reveals as UK prime minster Boris Johnson makes a statement on the government's plans to parliament and the nation today. 

While changing the state pension triple-lock was backed by just 8% of respondents, the most common answer was that no increase in taxation would be acceptable (38%).

An independent, nationally representative survey commissioned by AJ Bell asked which of nine money raising options people would find most acceptable.

The most acceptable options were in the follwoing order: Increasing capital gains tax (32%), dividend tax (23%), income tax (20%) and inheritance tax (17%).

Tom Selby, head of retirement policy at AJ Bell, said: "Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak will be taking a huge gamble if they push ahead with rumoured plans to increase National Insurance rates and scrap the state pension triple-lock to fund social care reforms.

"Fewer than 1-in-6 (15%) people backed increasing NI to pay for the plans when presented with it alongside eight other money-raising options, while just 8% supported changes to the state pension triple-lock. A national insurance increase is particularly unpopular with younger generations with just one in ten 18 - 44 year olds supporting a rise.

"Both measures represent a clear breach of the Conservative manifesto and so would undoubtedly prove hugely controversial.

"Increasing capital gains tax, dividend tax and inheritance tax were all more palatable, perhaps in part because they affect fewer people.

"Interestingly, more people supported increasing income tax than NI rates - although the Government appears to have already decided this is not an option it wants to pursue.

"Perhaps tellingly, the most popular response was that no change in taxation would be acceptable, suggesting that any solution will almost certainly come at a political price.

"The Government will be hoping that by paying for social care reforms through a combination of a rise in National Insurance rates and ditching the triple-lock - possibly temporarily - they will avoid accusations of intergenerational unfairness.

"The big political risk is that in attempting to ensure both younger and older people pay for the reforms, they will simply anger everyone."

The survey was based on a nationally representative sample of 1,028 people who took part in a findoutnow survey conducted on 6 September 2021.

Respondents were asked: The Government is reportedly looking to increase taxes to help pay for social care for those in need. Which changes in taxation would you find most acceptable in order to help pay for social care?

The full breakdown of results was as follows: