An honest poll to counteract the Tories’ cowardly one

I wrote just earlier about the cowardly, dishonest poll the Tories have published – cowardly because it attempts to force people to vote for the answers the Tories want to see by skewing the phrasing of the question and by limiting the responses that can be selected. They’ve done this because they need particular results to support their ideologically-driven actions and they know that an honest set of questions will not provide the answers they want.

I closed that post by saying that I would post my own poll, and that I’d make it as honest as I could, including answers that would please (or displease) both sides for people to choose from. Unlike the Tories, I don’t fear the results of asking honest questions and getting honest answers.

Here’s my attempt. I’m no pollster nor statistician, so it’s unlikely to be perfect, even if such a thing is possible. But it’s a genuine, honest attempt at fairly-framed questions and fairly-balances responses to choose from:

I look forward to your input!


  1. Hi Steve,

    How’s selection looking for a candidacy somewhere? Any positive news yet?

    Couple of small gripes with your poll, knowing you I know you will have genuinely tried to be fair but Q7, the answer ‘Cap rents so the government doesn’t subsidise greedy landlords’ is a little misleading. Most landlords essentially charge slightly more than their mortgage is and that’s roughly the going rate, for instance on the flat I rent out I charge £50 more than my mortgage to cover insurance etc. If you look across the country at rents most tend to be roughly in correlation with the price of the house/flat, hence crazy London pricing. If you argue for a rent cap you’d stop many finding it economic to rent out their property who are doing so for genuine reasons. My own is I simply can’t afford to sell that flat yet but I’m sure a rent cap would effectively lead to me subsidising someone else living in it. I’m sure there are cases of abuse where landlords are charging the DSS more than the going rate but the answer is not a blanket rent cap.

    Secondly the last question, the upper rate of tax has been cut for the very richest however the proportion of tax paid by the richest under this government has actually risen, hmrc’s own figures here: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A9mMVKQCYAA00Rj.jpg:large income tax isn’t the only tax. As for corp tax, yes it’s falling but you have to question if anybody is actually paying it? I’m not sure headline rate is relevant at all to be honest, perhaps we’d be better off closing some of the enormous loopholes and then setting a fair tax.

  2. Hi Chris,

    I doubt your tenants are facing having to move because of the government’s benefits cap, but many are and through no fault of their own.

    With regard to the last point, the share of tax paid by top earners has indeed risen – but by far less than their income has risen relative to the rest of us: In 1997 the top 1% paid 21% of income tax take – but their average income was just shy of £189k. By, they contributed 26% of revenue – an increase of a bit less than 20%. But their average income rose by over 60%, to over £301k. So they paid less per £ earned. It’s safe to say that they’ve continued to increase their income at a higher rate than their tax contribution. See http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/rees-moggs-bbc-qt-38126-what-he-wasnt-telling-you/ for more.

  3. It *might* seem fairer if I knew what you meant by ‘benefit claimants’ (indeed, ‘benefits’) and ‘working people’. Aren’t people on benefits because they *can’t* work? Is the Tory poll saying, or just implying, that 60% of people on these ‘benefits’ are breaking the rules by working as well? Sounds like a conversation that could be had, somewhere,,,

    1. Good question and thanks for taking the time to find out! Many people think – and this govt is careful to foster that misconception – that only the unemployed are affected by their benefit cuts.

      But it’s just not true. Child benefit and child tax credit are claim,Ed in huge numbers by people who are working, and these are likewise being capped at 1%, far below the rate of inflation.

      But my poll question is aimed primarily at the income-support benefits – working tax credit, housing benefit etc. Many, many people receiving these benefits are working – perfectly legally – in low-paid jobs that don’t pay enough for anyone to live on. So the fact pays the ‘top-up’ benefits so they can get by. If companies were made to pay a ‘living wage’, the cost to taxpayers of those benefits would be massively reduced.

      But the govt isn’t doing that – instead it’s capping those benefits, like all the others, to an annual increase of 1%, so that people who are already working AND poor get poorer still. But of course, that’s not what you hear in govt soundbites – there, it’s all ‘skivers’ and ‘closed curtains’. It’s deliberately misleading – and it demonises benefit claimants.

      Hope this helps!

  4. The last question was strange. If one person has nine apples, and one person has only one, is it acceptable to take away the latter’s only apple as long as you take one from the former too? I kinda thought the third option was unnecessary and confusing. JMO. But I agree with the need for this poll, govt polls are skewed BS designed to illicit a certain satisfactory response.

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