Ipsos MORI’s latest Political Monitor shows that the October Budget is not as well received as previous pandemic Budgets.
Two in five (40%) think the proposals in the Budget will be good for the country overall (down from 52% in March) while 37% think they will be a bad thing (up from 25%). People are even more worried when it comes to the Budget’s personal impact with 28% saying it will be a good thing for them personally (down from 39%) and 44% saying a bad thing (up from 26%). This is the worst score for a Budget’s personal impact since 2012 when 60% said it would be bad for them personally.
The Government’s economic policies
Britons are split when it comes to the long-term impact of the Government’s economic policies. Just over two in five (43%) agree they will improve the economy while 48% disagree. This is more positive than in November 2018, but worse than the ratings before the 2015 election. People are more pessimistic on whether the Government’s policies will improve public services in the long-term, with a third (32%) agreeing and three in five (60%) disagreeing. The public are consistently negative about this, although it is slightly better than in November 2018.
When asked to think about a hypothetical situation where the government could choose between reducing NHS waiting lists or cutting taxes, there was little doubt over what the public prioritises with 83% saying reducing waiting lists compared with 13% saying taxes.
Satisfaction with the Chancellor
Overall satisfaction with the way Rishi Sunak is doing his job as Chancellor has also fallen since March of this year, however his net satisfaction score remains positive on balance with 45% satisfied with his performance (down 14 points from March) and 39% dissatisfied (up 12 points). Among Conservative supporters, 72% remain happy with the Chancellor (although this is down from 83% in March).
How the opposition compares
Despite the decline in the government’s ratings over the handling of the economy, Labour is yet to convince the public they could do a better job. A quarter (25%) say Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeveswould do a better job than the present government has done at managing the economy while another quarter (27%) say they would do a worse job. More however (37%) say they would do about the same as the Conservatives. This is though more positive for Labour than in November 2015, when 41% felt Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell would do a worse job than the Conservatives on managing the economy.
Gideon Skinner, Head of Politics at Ipsos MORI, says of the findings: “Rishi Sunak’s first two pandemic budgets were relatively well-received. But what’s noticeable in the public reaction to his October Budget is the increase in people thinking it will be bad for them personally, even if they remain more positive about its impact on the country as a whole. This is reflected in the Chancellor’s personal ratings, which have been dropping down over the last few months – although he’s still the first since Gordon Brown to keep public satisfaction consistently net positive for this long. The figures also provide a reminder for him and the Government that it’s not just the economy where people want to see improvements – public services are a perennial concern for Britons too.”
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