Demos

September 2020

This report looks at public attitudes towards tax rises from the cross-party think tank Demos. It is the most comprehensive UK study to date of public attitudes towards tax rises, based on polling and deliberative groups. It found that a large majority of the public are supportive of progressive tax rises, especially 2019 Conservative voters.

Key findings include:

  • 58% of the support raising Income Tax for everyone by 2p in the pound
  • Seven in ten of the public support raising Income Tax on earnings over £100,000 per year by 10p in the pound, with just one in ten (10%) opposing this
  • 63% of the public support a one-off 10% tax on wealth over £2m, excluding main homes and pension funds, with 11% opposing it
  • 54% of 2019 Conservative voters supported equalising the tax treatment of capital gains with income from work, with 20% opposing it
  • 70% of the public felt that pensions should continue to be taxed at the existing lower rates than other forms of income

Researchers found strong support strong support for the following five principles for guiding how these increases are made:

  1. Everyone should contribute what they can afford.
  2. Different forms of income should be taxed in the same way.
  3. Tax rises should not infringe the long established right to be rewarded for hard work, or to acquire and retain property.
  4. Any tax rises for individuals must be coupled with renewed efforts to tackle tax avoidance.
  5. Tax rises must be accompanied by greater transparency about how taxes are raised and how taxes are spent, with improved communications and education.

Demos also developed a tax calculator so people can choose different possible changes to the tax system and see how much revenue it would raise at tax.demos.co.uk.

Download the report