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Taxing the rich – the poll evidence

Anyone concerned about growing inequality, who thinks that tax policies need to be more progressive than those of either the Tory-led government or its New Labour predecessors, has cause for celebration this morning. The latest YouGov poll for today’s Sunday Times shows clear public backing for taxing the rich. Forty-nine per cent think the top rate of 50p should be made permanent, 33% think it should eventually be brought down. Fifty-one per cent would like to the see the threshold for the top rate brought down to £100,000, 29% would oppose this.

Ed Milliband is committed to making the 50% rate permanent, though he failedto persuade Alan Johnson to accept that beyond this parliament. But it sounds like Ed Balls hasn’t given up on the more progressive policy the majority of the pubic want: in the leadership campaign, he argued for a rate of 50% for those on more than £100,000, and, when asked about it by Andrew Marr this morning, he responded “we’ve not sat down and discussed tax policy”. So, it seems, he’s keeping his options open and still hoping to get the other Ed on board!

The YouGov poll was also good news on economic growth. Sixty-five percent of people think the government should be doing more to encourage growth, against only 18% who think they’re doing enough already. Even Tory voters agree by 46% to 39%.

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