Tax policies set to influence one in three UK voters

02 Mar 2015

  • 35% of Brits say tax policies will influence their voting decision
  • Londoners set to be most swayed by tax policies, followed by the North West
  • Income tax and ISA allowances are the tax areas most important to the nation

With the General Election just over two months away, tax has emerged as a prominent issue for voters according to new data from unbiased.co.uk, the UK’s No.1 adviser search, in partnership with Prudential.

The TaxAction 2015 report shows that 35% of the electorate would be influenced in their voting decision by tax policies. Furthermore, voters seemed to focus on policies that would reduce their tax liabilities, with 28% saying that these could change the way they vote. By contrast, just 7% said they might switch their vote based on policies that would increase their tax liabilities.

However, the influence of tax policies on voting attitudes varies significantly across the nation. Whereas in London 47% cite tax policies as important to them, only 27% of voters in the South West feel the same way.

Les Cameron, tax specialist at Prudential, comments: “Most people don’t like paying tax but as it is usually paid when your savings and investments have grown in value or when you receive income from them, paying tax can actually be a good sign, as it means you’re making money. What’s important is to make sure that you’re not paying unnecessary tax and there are many simple steps people can take to prevent this.  

“Deciding where to invest your money comes first as this will determine your potential to make money on your savings. After that it’s about making your investments as tax efficient as possible so that you receive the maximum benefit from any investment gains.

“As an issue that affects us all, tax has become a major theme for this year’s election in May. While we cannot predict the final election promises on tax, seeking financial advice remains important to achieving the best investment and tax planning strategy for your own individual circumstances.

In addition to the policies themselves, there is also a clear hierarchy of which taxes are most important to the nation.

Which of the following taxes are most important to you?

Rank

Tax area

% of people stating this is an important area

1

Income tax

45%

2

ISAs (cash, stocks & shares, JISA)

15%

3

Inheritance tax

10%

4

Capital gains tax

7%

Despite tax being such a major voting issue, the TaxAction research also shows that people are still failing to take sufficient steps to reduce their tax liabilities by using the available tax breaks and allowances. As a nation, the UK is set to waste an unnecessary £4.9 billion in tax this year.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, comments: “We have been tracking the nation’s attitudes to tax as part of our TaxAction research for years now, so it’s encouraging to see that so many people have tax policies on their radar. But no matter who forms the next government, there will remain many ways to be legitimately tax efficient – whether this is utilising your ISA allowance, investing in your pension or planning for inheritance tax with the help of a financial adviser. We know that paying tax isn’t something people enjoy, yet more than half of UK adults admit that they haven’t done anything in the past year to reduce their tax liabilities. Clearly we still have some way to go before the nation is truly ‘tax active’!”

For a free and confidential search for a whole-of-market financial adviser, visit www.unbiased.co.uk

ENDS

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Category: Tax action Tagged: ISAs, Inheritance Tax


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