One in three UK voters swayed by tax policies

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Tax policies will influence the voting decisions of 35% of Britons, with income tax topping the list of concerns.

According to a report produced by and Prudential, tax is one of the most prominent issues worrying UK voters ahead of the general election in May. Income tax is of the most concern, with 45% of those surveyed ranking it as a top priority.

Isas are the second most prominent area of concern, with 15% ranking it as their most important tax area, followed by inheritance tax at 10% and capital gains tax at 7%.

Those living in the capital are most concerned about tax: 47% of Londoners cite tax policies as important to them. In comparison, just 27% of voters in the South West - where the average wage is £10,000 below that in London - rank tax as their highest priority.


Despite tax ranking as an important voting issue, in January reported that Britons are failing to take sufficient steps to reduce their tax liabilities by using the available tax breaks and allowances. Prudential and claim that the UK is set to waste an unnecessary £4.9 billion in tax this year.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of, 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.

"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."

The report coincides with another from fund platform Hargreaves Lansdown, which shows that each of the last five UK governments has raised taxes by more than £5 billion within a year of being elected. As such, the firm is encouraging UK savers to make the most of their tax allowances before May's election.

Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown, says: "We don't know who's going to be in charge after the next election, but with the country currently spending more than it takes in, we do know they're going to have to make some tough choices.

"Tax shelters and allowances are likely to come under pressure, so prudent savers will look to make the most of their tax breaks. It makes sense to use as many of your allowances as you can before the Easter weekend so that they fall in the current tax year."

This article was written for our sister website Money Observer

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