Three quarters of red wall voters support richest paying more tax to tackle climate crisis, poll finds

·2-min read
The UK government says it could face an annual bill of billions due to climate crisis impacts by the mid-century (Getty Images)
The UK government says it could face an annual bill of billions due to climate crisis impacts by the mid-century (Getty Images)

Three quarters of voters in “red wall” seats are in favour of substantial tax hikes for the richest to help to tackle the climate crisis, according to a new poll.

The areas are viewed as a battleground for votes for the two major parties, having traditionally been Labour seats but which switched to the Tories at the last general election.

More than 1,000 constituents in these seats – which span the North and the Midlands – were asked their views on the climate crisis and taxation by pollsters Survation.

The poll, shared exclusively with The Independent, found that 75 per cent supported the richest paying substantially more tax to put more money into fighting the climate crisis. Just 8 per cent were opposed.

Although the figure dropped slightly when only Tory voters were asked, a majority – 71 per cent – were still in favour of such a policy to help the environment.

Meanwhile, 85 per cent of those who identified as Labour voters said they would support substantial tax hikes for the richest to pay to tackle the climate emergency.

Eighty-two per cent of Brexit Remain voters polled supported the policy, compared with 76 per cent of Leave voters.

Luiz Garcia from the Autonomy think tank, which commissioned the poll, said: “Taxing the rich substantially more to pay for the cost of tackling climate change is popular with this key group of voters.”

He added: “The very richest in our society are producing more carbon emissions than anyone else, so it’s only fair that they compensate for this.”

The UK government has admitted it needs to go “further and faster” to prepare for the impact of the climate crisis. Action is needed to tackle immediate risks such as coastal flooding and water supplies, according to its own analysis released earlier this year.

The risk assessment also warned that it could cost billions every year to deal with the impacts of the climate emergency by the middle of the century.

A Treasury spokesperson said: “The UK has the highest basic personal tax allowance in the G20 – and maintaining the income tax thresholds is a progressive approach to funding our world-leading public services.

“Our approach ensures that higher earners contribute more while those on the lowest incomes benefit the most, receiving more than £4 in public spending for every £1 they pay in tax.”

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