The new budget released by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer has received approval from voters, first polls revealed.
A poll by Opinium Research suggested 52% approved of the budget, with only 12% disapproving. It also suggested that 51% thought it was fair, and 19% thought it wasn’t, while 64% were worried about the state of the economy.
Another poll by YouGov showed 46% supporting the budget and 11% opposed to it. According to the poll, when asked about corporation tax increases, 69% said they supported businesses with profits over £250,000 paying the 25% tax, against 11% who disapproved of it. Also, 49% agreed that economic support should end around September, 16% said it should end earlier, and 14% later.
Pollster Chris Curtis of Opinium told the Sun that "first impressions don't always count for much with budgets, but for the moment at least, the chancellor will be happy with the results showing a very positive initial reaction from the public".
The Recovery Budget
Rishi Sunak addressed Parliament on Wednesday with his Budget statement. The plan is meant to “protect the jobs and livelihoods of the British people''.
Sunak said that the government would freeze personal tax thresholds and will not raise the income tax, national insurance rates, or VAT. He also said the corporation tax would be increased from 19% to 25%. The increase, however, will not take effect until April 2023. Sunak also extended the furlough scheme and weekly £20 Universal Credit boost.
According to Sunak, the UK’s Gross Domestic Product is expected to increase by 4 percent this year and 7.3 percent next year, although the economy would be three percent smaller in five years’ time than it would have because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The budget drew criticism, with some in the Commons challenging his proposals to raise the corporation tax.
"That will have precisely the deterrent effect I worry about with respect to inward investment," former cabinet minister David Davis told MPs about the corporation tax proposal.
"I don't think we're under-taxed, because the tax rises in this budget are going to leave us with the highest tax burden in my lifetime,” former chief whip Mark Harper said.
Meanwhile, Labour leader Keir Starmer accused the Conservative government of failing to rebuild the foundations of the economy, reward the key workers and protect the NHS.
“Instead, what we got was a Budget that papered over the cracks, rather than rebuilding the foundations. A Budget that shows the Government doesn’t understand what went wrong in the last decade or what’s needed in the next,” Starmer told the House of Commons.
According to Starmer, insecurity and inequality are the central problems in the UK economy but the government’s budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal years does not answer them.