What are progressives for? Research

Following Chuka Umunna MP's Pamphlet 'What are progressives for?' last month. With polling by Opinium, we asked the public what they thought of his policy suggestions.

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Within the research we asked people what they thought on various policy ideas published by Chuka Umunna MP.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • 44% think there should be a ring-fenced tax to support the NHS – as championed by Umumma, with almost half of Brits (48%) are persuaded that this would be an effective in improving long-term funding. 

  • The nation is dissatisfied with the way privatised public services such as water, gas, electricity, rail and bus services and universities are currently being run. While nationalisation remains popular, roughly a third of the public felt the ‘public interest companies’ proposed by Umunna would be the best way for these to be run. 

  • 69% of the public think senior executive pay should be capped in line with the average pay in a company, and 66% thinking that executive bonuses should be capped at a level such as 20% of annual salary. 

  • 65% also think that nominated workers should sit on a company board so that they are involved in executive pay decisions.

  • Only a quarter (25%) of people believe the current system of tuition fees is the best favour Umunna’s proposal to only abolish fees from underprivileged backgrounds and support these students with grants to cover living costs. This number rise to 28% among those identified as holding progressive values. 

  • Three in ten (31%) support Umunna’s idea of raising the basic tax rate on dividend income to the same level as the basic rate on regular income. When asked what should happen to the £5.9 billion this could raise, 39% think it should go to funding public services, while 38% believe it should go to paying down the national debt or reducing other taxes.

  • 54% believe that a form of national citizen service, which Umunna proposes, should be created to bring young people from diverse background together – and 45% not opposed to the scheme think this should be compulsory, while 35% think it should be voluntary. Interestingly, despite the recent interest of Democratic presidential candidates like Mayor Pete Buttigieg in this idea, those who consider themselves progressives are the only group to net oppose the such a scheme being compulsory. 

Take a look at the full report here.


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