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Should the UK government introduce a wealth tax to pay for Covid-19?

Torie Bold EVP 03/12/2020

Recently, there have been debates among some politicians, economists, and public figures about introducing a 'wealth tax' to help the government generate income to offset the increased spending that it’s incurring throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

What may surprise some readers is that net support for this wealth tax is still only 50% even for those who have £5m+ in savings and investments.

Our national survey of more than 2,000 adults found that in principle, 58% of the general population in UK support introducing a wealth tax.  If a wealth tax were introduced, 59% think it should be an annual payment akin to income tax, compared with only 16% who think it should just be a single, one-off payment.

So how much ‘wealth’, measured here by the value of their savings and investments (S&I), do people need to have for the population to think they’re fair game?  Among the general population, net support (% who support minus % who oppose) for the tax is zero at £100k+ S&I, rising to 23% at £250k+. What may surprise some readers is that even for those with £5m+ in savings and investments, net support for this wealth tax is still only 50%.

There are some demographic differences, however.  Across the board, younger consumers (those aged 18-34) are much less likely to support the tax than those aged 55+.  If the tax applied to those with S&I of £5m+, net support among 18-34 year olds is 22% compared with 71% among those aged 55+.

The same questions are currently being asked of 500 HNWIs in the UK (£1m+ assets) via MillionaireVue – it will be interesting to see how the results compare.

Savanta’s MillionaireVue is a quarterly omnibus with c. 500 HNWI’s in each of UK, US and China. For more information on MillionaireVue please click here.

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