Ipsos MORI poll for Oxfam Scotland

A majority of Scots do not think the tax system is fair and want taxes raised for the wealthiest according to a new poll we conducted for Oxfam Scotland.

A new Ipsos MORI poll for Oxfam Scotland has shown that the majority of the public believe the current tax system to be unfair and want taxes increased for those with the highest income and wealth.

A little over half of Scots (52%) disagree that the current tax system is fair compared to 37% who think it is fair. Views opposed to the current tax system also appear more deep-rooted than those in support, with 25% strongly disagreeing that the current system is fair versus just 8% who strongly agree. Those working part-time (57%) and those not in work (61%) and those living in the most deprived areas of Scotland (61%) are among the key groups who are critical of the tax system.

It appears that one way in which many people would like to see the system become fairer is for people with the highest income and wealth to pay more tax. Three quarters of the public (76%) would back this measure, with support particularly high among those aged 55+ (81%) and those living in the most deprived areas (83%). The strength of feeling among those who support this measure outweighs those against, with 48% strongly agreeing and 8% strongly disagreeing. In addition, a third of Scots (33%) agree with the proposition that taxes should be lower for everyone with over half (57%) disagreeing, giving a further indication of the majority view of what should happen to the tax system.

Mark Diffley, Research Director with Ipsos MORI said:

“Our poll for Oxfam Scotland gives a clear indication of how the public views the tax system. The majority think it is currently unfair and want taxes to be raised for those with the greatest income and wealth. Although this view is most strongly supported by those who are not in work and those living in the most deprived areas, all groups support raising tax for the wealthiest.”

Technical details:

  • Results are based on a survey of 1,003 respondents conducted by telephone
  • Fieldwork dates: 8th October – 15th October 2012
  • Data are weight by: age, sex and working status using census data; tenure using SHS data; and public-private sector employment using Scottish Government Quarterly Public Sector Employment series data
  • Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don’t know” categories
  • Results are based on all respondents (1,003) unless otherwise stated

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