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U.K.’s Conservatives Lose Support on Tax Rise, Telegraph Says

(Bloomberg) --

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to raise taxes to the highest level on record to fund health and social care may come with a loss for his own Conservative party, the Telegraph reported.

A poll of 10,000 adults carried out by Electoral Calculus and FindOutNow for the newspaper before, during and after the tax changes announcement found that the increase could cost the Tory party dozens of parliamentary seats in the country’s next general election.

About 37% of the respondents said they support the party today compared with 45% at the 2019 election, reversing gains made in the so-called Red Wall seats. Backing for opposition remains unchanged at 33%, with support increasing for the Greens and the Reform party.

The loss of support emerged after Cabinet ministers faced a hostile reception from the Tory party’s grassroots when they returned to their constituencies this weekend, the newspaper reported. Johnson announced a new 1.25% tax on working Britons and their employers, as well as adding an extra 1.25% to dividend tax to fund a post-pandemic recovery program in the National Health Service and to overhaul the country’s struggling social care system.

Read more: Johnson Wins Health Care Vote to Push U.K. Taxes to Highest Ever

The tax hike will come into force at the same time as council tax bills potentially rise at least 5% or 6% on average in April next year, the Telegraph reported. Local authorities are likely to need the extra cash to meet expenses accrued during the pandemic, increasing the burden on millions of households.

Meanwhile, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has told Treasury officials to step up talks with the insurance industry over the launch of new products designed to help with funding future social care costs in England, the Financial Times reported.

The chancellor announced an 86,000-pound ($119,000) cap on the total lifetime adult social care costs for any individual, adding that the state would intervene to pay expenses above that level.

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