Boris Johnson refuses to rule out further tax rises
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Boris Johnson’s new National Insurance policy has been met with anger from politicians and the public alike, as the tax grab will see many workers hundreds of pounds worse off a year. But it’s not just Labour that has benefitted from the policy when it comes to the electorate – the populist right-wing Reform Party are also cashing in on Mr Johnson’s choices.
The tax has been raised to pay for the NHS backlog caused by the pandemic, as well as longstanding issues with the social care system.
The increased levy is set to raise an extra £12 billion per year for the Treasury.
As a result, support for the Tories is down five points to 33 percent, with Labour in the lead at 35 percent.
This poll was undertaken by YouGov for The Times and questioned 1,657 British adults on their voting intentions between September 8 and 9.
Last week the Tory lead over Labour was four points on 38 percent.
One of the key issues with the policy is it severely tarnishes the Government’s reputation as the party of small government and low taxes.
Party members have expressed their dismay at their leader’s decision all the way from local parties to cabinet ministers – although the rebels did back down in time for the vote this week.
Sir Michael Bunbury, local party president in the Suffolk Coastal constituency of Theresa Coffey, said: “A Conservative government raising taxes is very, very hard to take.
“The Prime Minister is really stressing true-blue conservatives with policies that, as a columnist, he would have ridiculed.
“I think we shall lose members, there will be some pretty upset people.
“A lot of my generation felt that the country was liberated post-1979 from its destination to go down the plughole.
“I am greatly saddened that some of that liberation, characterised by Mrs Thatcher, is being rolled back by a Conservative Prime Minister.”
Despite Labour’s lead over the Tories in the latest poll, voters are still not gravitating toward Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.
Labour has remained at an average of 34 percent across four polls taken so far this month.
Reform UK, however, is gaining ground from the Tories in light of the tax changes.
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Polling expert Matt Goodwin said today: “The Conservative voters who are leaving the party are not switching to Labour.
“A significant number have moved to Reform UK (now on close to 10 percent), say they are undecided or would not vote at the next election.
“The revolt on the right might be about to return.”
He continued: “That is, Reform is on close to 10 percent among 2019 Cons.
“Over the last month, the percentage of Conservatives breaking for Reform has more than doubled.
“A larger number are simply giving up on politics altogether … for now.”
Reform UK was first founded as the Brexit Party in 2018, however has since rebranded itself.
On its website, Reform UK pledges to reform three key areas – the economy, the public sector and institutions such as the BBC, House of Lords and civil service.
Leader Richard Tice helped found the party, and was formally a Member of European Parliament for the then-named Brexit Party, elected in 2019.
Writing on Reform UK’s website Mr Tice says of his party: “We restate our core values: We must return all our liberties to the people.
“We must preserve freedom of speech. We must control our borders properly.
“We must protect our proud heritage from the woke folk and celebrate our nation’s incredible successes.”
Elsewhere, the Liberal Democrats have nudged up to an average nine percent in national polls since winning the Chesham and Amersham by-election in June.
The Greens are also enjoying a smaller surge of support to around seven percent.
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