Voters’ confidence in the Tories on tax issues is plummeting as Rishi Sunak’s latest election campaign fails

Confidence in the Tories on tax matters has collapsed, a new poll shows. This marks another huge blow to Rishi Sunak, who is trying to turn around his party’s election fortunes with less than three weeks to go.

According to an exclusive survey from Techne UK for The independentSir Keir Starmer has a confidence rating more than double that of Mr Sunak as postal votes are sent this weekend at a crucial stage of the campaign.

It comes after the Tories made every effort to use tax as the key divisive issue and launched an attack on Labour’s plans in a last-ditch effort to stop Sir Keir from winning power with “a super majority” of 4 July.

The gambit – which involves Chief Secretary to the Treasury Laura Trott and claims that Labor is planning 18 secret tax rises, including a tax attack on house sales – appeared to be an attempt to close the persistent poll gap with Labor of around 20 points and create a threat of is assumed by Nigel Farage’s Reform UK.

The Techne UK poll of 1,636 British voters found that 36 percent have the most confidence in Sir Keir on taxes, compared to just 16 percent for Sunak. In a further blow to the Prime Minister, he is aligned with Mr Farage on this issue, as Reform also polled 16 per cent of those polled.

Rishi Sunak has put tax cuts at the heart of his address to the nation, but poll shows more voters want to see spending on public services
Rishi Sunak has put tax cuts at the heart of his address to the nation, but poll shows more voters want to see spending on public services (PA wire)

It is understood Mr Sunak has already faced a cabinet revolt behind the scenes as many felt he had not offered enough in the way of tax cuts in the party manifesto.

He has been embroiled in controversy over disputed claims that Labor will add £2,000 to every household’s tax bill. Sir Keir accused him of “lying” after the top Treasury official dismissed the Prime Minister’s claims that his department had made the calculation based on Labor pledges, which Mr Sunak insisted amounted to a black hole of £38.5 billion.

Labor has also accused the Tories of ‘unfunded tax promises’, which Rachel Reeves claimed last week will add £4,800 to the average mortgage payment over five years.

In fourth place is LibDem leader Sir Ed Davey with 12 percent, while the level of voter apathy is reflected in 20 percent saying ‘don’t know’.

The high figure of those unsure who to believe comes after Paul Johnson, director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, warned of “a conspiracy of silence” by all parties over the almost £20 billion cuts facing the next government gets to make.

The poll shows that young voters aged 18 to 34 are more likely to trust Farage than Sunak on taxes, by 16 to 12 percent. Men also trust Farage marginally more, by 16 to 15 percent. The Prime Minister has the highest confidence in the taxes of pensioners, a key target group for the Tories, at 20 percent, but is still easily trailing Sir Keir at 29 percent.

While 80 percent of 2019 Labor voters trust their leader on taxes, only 43 percent of 2019 Tory voters trust the Prime Minister. People with a degree or higher are the most likely to trust Sir Keir over the rest at 43 percent.

Reform UK has made a bid to move to the right of the Tories on tax issues, with promises to abolish inheritance tax on up to £2 million – something Tory MPs urged Mr Sunak to include in his manifesto – and to bring forward the point at which people pay revenue. tax up to £20,000.

This compares with Tory plans to cut national insurance by a further 2p, introduce a triple-lock-plus pension guarantee with no tax on pensions, abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers and raise the repayment threshold of child benefit to £120,000. .

Labor, like the Tories, has pledged not to increase VAT, income tax or national insurance and said it will cut taxes if it is affordable.

But in the past 48 hours the Conservatives have reversed their campaign by claiming Labor has planned 18 “secret new taxes”, including increases in capital gains tax on the sale of main homes of up to a total of £2,000 per household.

Labor has hit back, accusing the Tories of ‘lying’, and Techne polling seems to suggest voters are siding with Sir Keir on this important issue. Labor told The independent that the poll’s outcome was “unsurprising as (the Tories) continue to come up with lists of fantasy tax increases”.

The importance of the issue is highlighted by the quality voters told Techne UK was the most important in a Prime Minister.

They identified ‘a healthy economy’ as the most important issue at 20 percent, ahead of climate action at 15 and strong defense and security at 13.

After the row over D-Day and attempts to focus on culture war issues, “patriotism” (7 percent) and “diversity awareness” (5 percent) lagged in the last two places under “change” and “trust.” at 12 percent.

Meanwhile, with Euro 2024 kicking off on Friday, the poll suggests the Tories’ chaos since the ouster of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss has played a role in their downfall, with Mr Sunak failing to come across as a strong team leader.

When asked who would make the best English manager, Sir Keir topped the poll with 31 percent. Nigel Farage came second with 17 per cent, ahead of Mr Sunak with 12 per cent and Sir Ed Davey with 11 per cent.