Labour Party now more trusted than the Tories on taxes and public spending - poll finds

British Labour Party leader Keir Starmer arrives at the BBC headquarters in London, Britain, March 6, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
British Labour Party leader Keir Starmer arrives at the BBC headquarters in London, Britain, March 6, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Brits are now more likely to trust Sir Keir Starmer's party to manage public finances than the Conservatives

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People are more likely to trust Labour to manage the public finances than the Conservatives, a new poll has found.

The survey, carried out by Ipsos following the spring statement on March 23, found 41% of people trusted Labour to manage taxes and public spending compared to 35% who trusted the Conservatives.

This represents an improvement for the opposition party since before the spring statement, when another Ipsos poll found Labour was virtually level with the Tories on taxes and spending.

The public were also more likely to trust Labour to reduce the cost of living by a margin of 15 points and were increasingly using news about rising inflation rates to judge the UK’s economic performance more generally.

British Labour Party leader Keir Starmer arrives at the BBC headquarters in London, Britain, March 6, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
British Labour Party leader Keir Starmer arrives at the BBC headquarters in London, Britain, March 6, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Ipsos director of politics Keiran Pedley said: “These numbers clearly show the political risk facing the Conservatives concerning the rising cost of living.

“The public are following stories about it closely and are increasingly judging the performance of the economy overall with the cost of living directly.

“This matters because they are also more inclined to trust Labour to reduce the cost of living than the Conservatives.”

The poll also brought bad news for the Chancellor personally. A third of people said they thought he was doing a bad job, up from a quarter of people before the spring statement, and 42% of people said he had changed the UK’s economy for the worse.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference following a special meeting of Nato leaders in Brussels, Belgium. Picture date: Thursday March 24, 2022.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference following a special meeting of Nato leaders in Brussels, Belgium. Picture date: Thursday March 24, 2022.

On the statement itself, the poll found that people regarded it as good for big businesses and people with higher incomes, but bad for virtually everyone else.

In particular, 51% of people said the statement was a “bad thing” for people on low incomes and 46% thought it would be bad for pensioners.

But while more than two-thirds of people thought the economy was performing badly, the Government has not taken all of the blame for the cost-of-living crisis.

People were much more likely to say the Covid-19 pandemic, the state of the global economy and the war in Ukraine were contributing either a great deal or a fair amount to the rising cost of living, with each of those three factors mentioned by around three-quarters of respondents.

Conversely, 64% of people said Conservative policies were contributing to the rising cost of living, the same proportion that blamed Brexit, while 50% of people thought policies to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions were responsible for rising inflation.

Mr Pedley said: “Whilst the public clearly do not blame the Government alone for the rising cost of living, there are some signs of concern at how its most recent response – the spring statement – will impact certain potentially vulnerable groups.

“If this sense of pessimism persists, the Conservatives may be in for a difficult time politically in the future.”