What Liberal Democrat members think of different tax policies

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 550 party members responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

Cut income tax and VAT but raise taxes on property: that’s the message from Liberal Democrat party members in our latest survey. Some answers to our tax questions are unsurprising, such as the North Korean style (or, for older readers, the Albanian style) majority in favour of raising the personal allowance threshold for income tax to £12,500, approximately equivalent to what a fulltime worker on the minimum age earns.

It is notable though that although a tax on house values is heavily supported, there is greater support for simply adding extra bands on to Council Tax. One of the most common comments I’ve heard about tax from Liberal Democrats in South West London is bafflement as to why Vince Cable doesn’t push for this rather than a mansion tax. These findings suggest that if he did, he would find (even) more support in the party.

Opposition to cutting the top rate of income tax is very strong, but – in the one finding that goes against what Liberal Democrat ministers have been calling for in public – there is a significant majority in favour of cutting VAT.

LDV asked: Would you support or oppose the following tax changes?

Raising the personal allowance threshold for income tax to £12,500
Strongly support 76%
Tend to support 20%
Tend to oppose 4%
Strongly oppose 1%
Net 91% support

Introducing additional Council Tax bands for higher-value properties
Strongly support 60%
Tend to support 30%
Tend to oppose 9%
Strongly oppose 2%
Net 79% support

Introducing a new annual tax on houses worth over £1 million
Strongly support 44%
Tend to support 36%
Tend to oppose 15%
Strongly oppose 5%
Net 60% support

Cutting VAT from 20% to 17.5%
Strongly support 24%
Tend to support 40%
Tend to oppose 29%
Strongly oppose 8%
Net 27% support

Abolishing the top 50p rate of income tax on people earning over £150,000
Strongly support 3%
Tend to support 13%
Tend to oppose 26%
Strongly oppose 57%
Net 67% oppose

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Some 550 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 11th and 15th September.
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. However, LibDemVoice.org’s surveys are the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country, and have in the past accurately predicted the winners of the contest for Party President, and the result of the conference decision to approve the Coalition agreement.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll

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