By Tim Montgomerie
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24 hours ago George Osborne announced that the planned 3p increase in fuel duty would not go ahead in August. During the day many readers have been voting in our end-June survey. That survey is still open (vote here) but over 1,000 Tory members have already participated and here are the results of the question on the fuel duty decision…
Three-quarters agree that the Chancellor took the right decision:
- 74% agreed that "there might have been a terrible backlash from voters if petrol duty had gone up by 3p in August". 16% disagreed.
- 74% (again) saw the decision as "a sign of a government that has listened to MPs, newspapers and voters". 18% disagreed.
- 48% agreed, however, that "this was another U-turn from George Osborne that risks making him look weak". 44% disagreed.
An even greater proportion would like more of these tax measures, however – seeing them as economy-boosting. 78% agreed that "we need more tax cuts like this, funded by faster spending cuts". Just 15% disagreed. There was much more support for tax cuts than for reducing borrowing. 27% agreed that "the money that will be spent on this tax cut should have been used to cut borrowing". 60% disagreed. I find this particularly interesting. It's further evidence that the party grassroots sees cutting the tax burden as a goal of similar urgency and importance to deficit reduction.
Only 6% wanted fuel duty increased to "discourage the pollution caused by cars". 89% disagreed with this objective of petrol tax.
Finally 74% agreed that "this was a victory for the Tory MPs like Robert Halfon who campaigned against the 3p duty". 14% disagreed. I suggested earlier today that Rob might be the Tory MP who could help connect Cameron to blue collar Britain.