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Results from a poll carried out by Armstrong Watson showed that local people think the government should concentrate their spending on the NHS, with 41% of respondents citing this as the top priority.
The second most popular response was 32% of respondents saying spending on big building projects, such as roads to boost the economy, should be a priority. Interestingly, schools and the armed forces came in at 16% and 11% respectively.
In terms of what individuals feel would benefit them personally a huge 62% cited a modest increase in the personal allowance would be their preferred change for tomorrow.
Looking to the future, half of the respondents felt a substantial increase in the personal allowance would be something the government should pursue, with 24% of people wanting the government to reduce national insurance contributions to encourage further reduction in unemployment.
Ahead of tomorrow’s budget, Armstrong Watson conducted the poll to get an idea of what announcements local people wanted to see.
Graham Poles, Head of Tax comments:
‘It’s not surprising that people want to see a modest increase in the personal allowance as this is where they will feel a difference to their personal finances.
Pursuing a more substantial increase in the personal allowance is definitely a popular choice; whether tomorrow’s announcement will indicate that this as a possibility or not, we’ll have to wait and see, although I can see that many of the political parties will want to include this type of pledge in their manifesto.
We did ask about whether people would want to see an increase in the Inheritance Tax band but this was not a major priority for those who completed our poll. I’m sure the results would have been very much different had we polled only those in the South East, where house prices are pushing ordinary people into paying IHT.
It was interesting that the NHS was voted as the number one priority for public spending and this clearly reflects the public concern over our NHS and their desire to protect it for the future.‘
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