Voters: Tories are a party for the rich


12:59 pm - December 22nd 2009

by Sunny Hundal    


      Share on Tumblr

A ComRes poll out today illustrates that a majority of the public believe the Conservatives would govern for the well-off.

It highlights the fact that, as I said earlier, a class divide exists in the perceptions of people. And Labour has nothing to lose by exploiting that.

The Indy states:

In a remarkable snapshot of national opinion just months ahead of the general election, a ComRes poll for The Independent found that people disagree with the statement that “the Conservative Party offers an appealing alternative to the Labour Party”, by a margin of 49 to 45 per cent.

Meanwhile, by 52 to 44 per cent, the public agrees with the statement that “a Conservative Government would mainly represent the interests of the well-off rather than ordinary people”.

The article also highlights the importance of reaching out to the base. Much of Labour’s recent recovery in the polls is down to the core vote coming back into the fold.

Labour appears to have clawed back some of its traditional support since this month’s pre-Budget report. The proportion of those who backed Labour in 2005 and who would stick with the party has risen from 66 to 76 per cent.

That core vote is more likely to be attracted by highlighting traditional divides between Labour and Conservative voters.

Gordon Brown flirted with highlighting these differences today in an interview with the Daily Mirror.

If you can’t afford these things yourself – and that is the vast majority of middle and low income people in this country – then these services really matter.

I sometimes think the Conservatives do not understand that people on middle and low incomes cannot rely on private health, cannot rely on private education, cannot rely on private security.

People need these services. And they need these services provided by the government which is on their side.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: News

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


On which topic, John Ross, bete noire of Andrew Gilligan and others, has a piece up about the long-term decline in Conservative support which is worth a read even if you don’t wholly subscribe to his politics.

http://socialisteconomicbulletin.blogspot.com/2009/12/real-trend-of-tory-support-by-john-ross.html

It’s been my contention for a while that the current Conservatives would be a mid-teens polling party in most of Europe, it’s only here where there’s a stonking gap in the market for an actual conservative party rather than a collection of dissimilar interests held together by greed and good PR that they can have even a shot at absolute power.

“A ComRes poll out today illustrates that a majority of the public believe the Conservatives would govern for the well-off. ”

How excellent! Given that everyone in the UK is in the top 15% of the global income distribution that means we’ll all do just fine then. One Nation Toryism at its best!

Fancy seeing Tim W here!

An article critical of the Tories and the Worstall dives in…you don’t say!

Didn’t this survey also show a majority supporting Conservative IHT policy?

Ah, here it is: http://politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2009/12/22/should-the-indycomres-have-heeded-sir-humphreys-advice/

“Finally, ComRes asked without referring to any party whether the sample agreed that “The threshold for paying inheritance tax should be raised to £1 million”. To this 55% said they agreed and 38% said they didn’t”

So all the Tories need to do is take a leaf from the Republican playbook and persuade a chunk of the electorate that they’re already well-off and will be soaked by Labour…

Oh, wait….

So yet again a poll that shows how inconclusive such a stance is on the public. Good one.

The only thing holding up institutional investors confidence in Gilts and Sterling is the hope of a conservative government. Watch both drop as the tories lead narrows. We are 100% dependent for our spending on the money lent to us by institutional investors who are already demanding higher interest rates on their loans.

“Fitch said that the UK – along with France and Spain – needed to “articulate more credible and stronger fiscal consolidation during the course of 2010 to underpin confidence in the sustainability of public finances”.

Failure to do so, the ratings agency added, would greatly increase the chances of a debt downgrade, which would increase the cost of servicing the national debt.”

I dont see Darling or Brown doing a thing about this in the near future, do you?

ComRes poll for The Independent found that people disagree with the statement that “the Conservative Party offers an appealing alternative to the Labour Party”, by a margin of 49 to 45 per cent.

I suspect this is an artifact of how the question was worded, because I’m sure many voters, including many of those intending to vote Tory, think they are both crap.

Meanwhile, by 52 to 44 per cent, the public agrees with the statement that “a Conservative Government would mainly represent the interests of the well-off rather than ordinary people”.

I wonder how many would have agreed that Labour mainly represent the poor rather than those on middle incomes?

Tim @ 2

No-one expects the Tory Party to give a fuck about the planet as a whole, only the UK. The Tory Party will do nothing for those on below average wages here.

“Tories are a party for the rich” – whereas Labour are the party for the poor. That’s why there’s always more of them than when they started 🙂

All seriousness though, it rings a little hollow Labour claiming to be the party of the poor when the ONS figures show that the bottom 10% pay a higher % tax than any other decile group.

12. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

“And Labour has nothing to lose by exploiting that.”

Two words – Gini coefficient.

“All seriousness though, it rings a little hollow Labour claiming to be the party of the poor when the ONS figures show that the bottom 10% pay a higher % tax than any other decile group.”

Oh, come on, for goodness sake. Yes, I agree, we should lower taxation on the poor however, to come out with that statement you have to entirely ignore how tax money is actually spent.

It’s the combination of tax *and benefits* which is important, not tax alone. What portion of the incomes of the lowest decile comes from the taxpayer?

@13 I was actually showing how Labour being the party of the poor is completely false, because although they give them a lot of money, they also take a large percentage back off them.

Looking at table 14 in the Net Effect of Tax and Benefits 07/08, the bottom 10% received an average of £5,395 in cash benefits but also paid an average of £4,206 in direct and indirect taxes. Give with the left hand, take back with the right. Labour has treated the poor disgracefully.

Most succesful political party in Britain since 1945. Not counting Blair and new labour, a de facto new party.

Mark M @ 14

That is because New Labour have followed Thatcherite Tax policy of shifting the tax burden from direct to indirect taxation, thus heaping the burden onto the backs of the poorest people in the Country. Labour have merely softened the blow. No such softening would have occured under the Tories.

“Thatcherite Tax policy of shifting the tax burden from direct to indirect taxation,”

It’s hardly a Thatcherite policy. It’s how the Nordic social democracies do it, after all.

Their taxation on capital is lower than ours, their corporate taxation is lower than ours. Income taxes are higher, yes, but consumption taxes (ie, indirect taxes like VAT) are much higher.

Which is all pretty much how to maximise the tax take in an open economy. Capital is more mobile than consumption so you need to tax it less. Companies are more mobile than consumption ditto.

If you look at the whole of the Swedish tax system and compare it to ours for example, it’s actually a little less progressive.

25% VAT on almost everything……

TimW

All very true about the relative distortions of different taxes. But you assume the implications for redistribution of such a regressive shift in our tax system is desirable to get the efficiency gain.

A fair view – but not one that is not necessarily true.

Why not a system of poll taxes of £10,000 on every
man, woman and child (and forced labour for non-payers) if efficiency is the only goal of taxation?
taxation

I don’t assume that efficiency is the only goal….even though I place greater importance upon that than many others I agree.

However, this is a point that Chris Dillow has made repeatedly. If you want to have the large State, the large amount of redistribution, the Govt providing lots of goodies, then you can’t have a highly progressive tax system. For the rich simply don’t have enough money to pay for all the things that you want government to provide. You have to go tax the middle and the poor because that’s where the bulk of the money is.

If you want to have a purely progressive tax system then you’ve got to go for the small state: because the rich only have enough money to pay for a small state.

Which is why those who are happy to have a large social democratic state, the Nordics, have a taxation system that is actually less progressive than ours. They put up with the regressivity for the tax take and the State they want.

This ought to be blatantly obvious.

By the way, did anyone else catch the Torygraph article about Cameron meeting with the phony “campaign group” that uses the name “Nurses for Reform” (it isn’t a group of nurses, but an astroturf campaign run by a Libertarian/far-right-affiliated PR agency)? This is a group that’s backed by the Heritage Foundation, the American think tank (sic) that brings together Christian conservatives with far-right nutters.

If anyone’s interested, I blogged about this on DailyKos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/27/819544/-Cameron-meets-with-NHS-privatisation-campaigners

Would love to see a crowdsourcing effort at exposing this bunch of private healthcare shills, before they manage to steal even more of our tax money.

“Give with the left hand, take back with the right. Labour has treated the poor disgracefully.”

Absolutely, but then Tony Blair also went to a fee-paying school, Fettes College, Edinburgh, reputedly the most expensive fee-paying school in Scotland where he met up with Charlie Falconer (later Lord Falconer).

Mind you, teachers at Fettes are reported as saying Blair “was a complete pain in the backside, and they were very glad to see the back of him.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Blair

All of which only goes to show.

Personally, I can’t understand why folks keep going on about Cameron going to Eton as two maintained grammar schools within walking distance of where I sit achieve better average A-level grades than Eton. But this may help voters to focus on which is the more representative party in government:

“There has been mounting speculation in recent months about the personal wealth of the leading figures in the Conservative Party. Interest has heightened after the Tories announced that they would implement an austerity budget, slashing public services, if elected to Government. Research carried out last year by the News of the World recorded 19 millionaires in the Shadow Cabinet, giving some indication of the level of wealth at the top of the Conservative Party. Here Times Money has updated the list.”
http://timesbusiness.typepad.com/money_weblog/2009/11/10-wealthiest-tories.html

21
Whilst I am no fan of Tony Blair, the school any parent decides to send their children to is out of the control of said children. Tony Benn came from quite an affluent background but his political views differed greatly from his foundations. Many people who were brought-up on benefits and within run-down areas vote for the tories.
But, the history of the tory party is the history of representation of the economic elite, first the landed classes,( remember it was the tories who introduced the Corn Law), then as the new economic elite became the industrialists, the tories changed their allegience – from Burke’s ‘one nation tory’ to Smith’s individual, all in the blink of an eyelid. Now the economic elite are the multi-nats, I take your point about Eton, but, the tories have always represented the money class in all its’ variety.

@22: “Whilst I am no fan of Tony Blair, the school any parent decides to send their children to is out of the control of said children.”

Sure – and I keep saying why bother to keep mentioning that Cameron went to Eton when two (maintained grammar) schools within easy walking distance of where I sit now achieve better average A-level results than Eton?

Readers can check out from this schools league table on the BBC website, posted up in January 2009, based on A-level results in 2008, showing that there were, in fact, quite a few schools achieving better average A-level results than Eton:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7827223.stm

The fact that Blair’s father could afford to send him to, Fettes College, reputedly the most costly fee-paying school in Scotland, is significant when less than 7 per cent of all pupils at school attend fee-paying schools. And it is at least plausible to believe that Blair’s experience at Fettes – as well as Cameron’s experience at Eton – helped to influence and shape their respective personal values.

After all, the fee-paying schools claim to build the character of their pupils and in the absence of evidence to the contrary I wouldn’t want to dispute that. However, IMO the number of millionaires in the Conservative shadow cabinet seems to me to be at least as significant an insight into the likely collective values and political priorities of the Conservative Party in Parliament.

24. Silent Hunter

Jim@10:

The Tory Party will do nothing for those on below average wages here.

Unlike Labour and its 10% tax abolition.

6 million of the lowest paid people having their income tax bill doubled at a stroke, and for what? . . . to make Gordon Brown ‘look good’ at just one PMQ’s.

Yeah! Really good to see Labour looking after the little guy.

Thankfully we don’t all have the memory capacity of a goldfish.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    :: Voters: Tories are a party for the rich http://bit.ly/62YMug

  2. sunny hundal

    I said last week playing 'class war' was good for Labour. Voters confirm: they think Tories are for the rich http://bit.ly/62YMug

  3. Richard Mitchell

    RT @pickledpolitics: I said playing 'class war' was good for Labour. Voters confirm: they think Tories are for the rich http://bit.ly/62YMug

  4. Well, except all those donations, no « Alamut

    […] 22, 2009 by Cain Aerte Apparently Labour has nothing to lose by exploiting class divides and appealing to the less well-off in […]

  5. Paulo Coimbra

    Voters: Tories are a party for the rich http://bit.ly/4Kr4vo

  6. rwillmsen

    Liberal Conspiracy » Voters: Tories are a party for the rich http://bit.ly/62YMug

  7. Liberal Conspiracy » Labour’s need for a Class War strategy explained

    […] First, it must be broad economic populism. Secondly, a majority of people agree the Tories are focused more on the rich. The narrative has a ready audience. Thirdly, Labour needs two constituencies: undecided swing […]





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.