I wrote yesterday that it is perhaps surprising not to see the economy or tax in the top five issues raised by respondents to our "red lines" poll. It's therefore necessary to say today that an economic issue came in sixth. On a scale of one to ten, in which one represents "very negotiable" and ten "non-negotiable", the statement "the structural deficit should be eliminated by 2017/2018, if not sooner" scored a eight – coming in only a fraction behind those top five issues – an In/Out EU referendum and renegotation; the reduction and equalisation of constituencies; keeping or lowering the benefits cap; keeping or lowering the immigration cap and pressing ahead with the development of shale gas.
Here are the remaining scores of economy and tax-related issues:
- Stamp duty threshold should be raised to £250,000 or higher – 7
- The inheritance tax threshold should be raised to £1 million or higher – 7
- Tax allowances should be fully transferable between married couples – 7
- Cut the 45p tax rate, raise the threshold or both – 6
- Cut the 20p tax rate, raise the threshold or both – 6
- Cut the 40p tax rate, raise the threshold or both – 6
- A 10p income tax rate should be introduced – 5
There are in some cases only marginal differences between the scores, so it follows that not too much should be read into them. However, it's worth noting that the proposal for the restoration of the 10p income tax band, supported on this site by Robert Halfon and opposed by Andrew Lilico comes in bottom of this list.