Peter Hoskin

Balls has the public on his side when it comes to a VAT cut

Balls has the public on his side when it comes to a VAT cut
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There are few more useful addendums to Danny Alexander's comments earlier than YouGov's poll for the Sunday Times today. It asks people about individual policies for growth, and the results will be disheartening for the Tory leadership and encouraging for Ed Balls. An overwhelming majority supports Balls's call for a cut in VAT, while few back a reduction in the 50p rate:

There's an almost identical picture when it comes to which polices people think would support growth:

Perhaps most tellingly, even Tory supporters are against cutting the 50p rate:

And, again, a similar picture emerges with respect to growth:

Of course, none of this means that Labour has won the economic argument; particularly without a clear economic or fiscal agenda of their own. But it does hint at the political difficulties that George Osborne will face in balancing a new plan for growth against the demands of deficit reduction. In this climate, it's likely that people will only support a removal of the 50p rate if HMRC discovers that it loses money for the Exchequer. In the meantime, the order of the days appears to be high taxes for the well-off, and lower taxes for everyone else.