Today’s Times reports on a couple of polls, first of is a YouGov poll they commissioned which shows
Two thirds of the public said they would support national insurance going up from 12 per cent to 13 per cent for the NHS and social care, YouGov found. Increasing national insurance would be more popular than putting up income tax, the poll suggests. Fifty-one per cent backed a 1p increase in income tax for increased health spending.
I wonder if this is another one of those polls which shows people in favour of extra health and social care spending in theory then declining to vote for parties who want to do such a thing. Boris Johnson knows from experience that talking about giving extra money to the NHS is a vote winner.
The Times also reports on another poll that shows
Separate polling has found that a large chunk of the public mistakenly believe that social care is free at the point of need, making the rationale for raising taxes harder. A survey of 4,000 adults by the charity Engage Britain found that one in five people think that social care is universally free — almost as many who know it is not. At present only those who do not have assets worth more than £23,250 are given social care free of charge.
This makes me wonder once the public gets to know about the wider tax increases and policy implications then Boris Johnson’s proposals will become less popular. Theoretical tax changes can often be initially popular but theory is about to become reality the voters get squeamish.
Veteran poll watchers can remember instances like the ending of the 10p tax band in Gordon Brown’s final budget of 2007 was seen as wildly popular in the polls (Labour MPs loudly cheered that budget in the Commons) but when it was about to come into force in 2008 people realised it was going to leave the poorest in society worse off whilst giving the middle classes a tax cut.
The Times article says Boris Johnson is going into invincible mode to push through this policy, for his sake I hope he wasn’t referring to HMS Invincible, five out of the six ships named initially named Invincible sank at sea. Given his past performances where for example he hid in a fridge to avoid an interview or disappeared to Afghanistan than vote against Heathrow expansion at the cost of £20,000 to the taxpayer I’m guessing the potential is there for him to be more invisible than invincible.