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Spring Budget and National Insurance

Tyron Surmon Find Out Now Market Research

Tyron Surmon

8th Mar, 2024 | 4 mins read

Find Out Now have conducted polling – first published in the ‘Tomorrow’s Business’ newsletter – on public attitudes to the Spring Budget. The survey asked 3,151 GB adults what they thought Budget priorities should be, their understanding of the leading policy to cut National Insurance, and whether they support or oppose it.

In summary, the lead policy to ‘Cut the headline rate of National Insurance by 2p’ is likely to have limited traction with the public, with only a third saying they ‘fully understand’ it. Similarly, when presented together with the Labour Party rebuttal (that frozen salary thresholds negate any benefits), a plurality say they ‘Don’t know’ whether they support or oppose it.

The Government will deliver its ‘Spring Budget’ tomorrow (Wednesday March 6th) where the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will announce the main tax and spending changes for the year ahead. What do you think is more important for the Government to do in the Budget?

  • 54% ‘cutting taxes that ordinary people pay’
  • 46% ‘increase spending on public services’
  • Public evenly split on this, with no clear divide by voting behaviour or age

One proposal is to cut the headline rate of National Insurance by 2p. To what extent do you understand what this means?

  • 66% understand (of which 35% ‘fully understand’ and 31% ‘somewhat understand’)
  • 34% don’t understand (23% ‘don’t really’ and 10% ‘not at all’)
  • Older people much more likely to understand it (54% of over-65 say ‘fully understand’ to just 22% of 18-24)

According to the HM Treasury, for an average employee on a £35,400 salary, cutting the rate of National Insurance by 2p would represent a tax cut of £450 a year. However, the Labour Party say that due to the decision to freeze salary thresholds (not change them with inflation) for both national insurance and income tax, the average household will still be worse off. Do you support or oppose the proposal to cut the headline rate of National Insurance by 2p?

  • 22% Support, 37% Oppose, 41% Don’t know
  • While presenting the policy in isolation would likely get a more positive response, presenting it together with the Labour Party rebuttal shows a more nuanced picture

If you could speak to the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt right now, what advice would you give him?

  • Top word ‘resign’, stated by 176 respondents
  • Little love for the Government. For one representative quote “you are going to learn all kinds of bad words that you never knew existed! I will just be the polite one and say no comment”

Full data tables available here

Find Out Now interviewed 3,151 GB adults from 2024-03-05 to 2024-03-06, and produced a sample of 1,786 respondents which is nationally representative by: Gender, Age, Social Class, Region, Brexit Vote, and 2019 General Election. Find Out Now are member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.