Welsh opinion divided on issue of income tax-varying powers for the Welsh Government

The Welsh public is almost evenly split on whether they would support or oppose the Welsh Government having the power to vary rates of income tax up or down in Wales, according to our latest opinion poll for the Western Mail.

Almost a third of the adult population in Wales (32%) said they would vote in favour, if there were a referendum now on whether the Welsh Government should be given the power to vary rates of income tax.  Almost as many (30%) said they would vote against the Welsh Government having this power.  The remainder either said they would not vote (19%), were unsure of how they would vote (17%) or were aged 16 or 17 and therefore not old enough to vote (1%).

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In the latest wave of the Beaufort Wales Omnibus survey, conducted in November, 1,022 adults in Wales aged 16 and over were informed that the UK Government says it will pass a law to enable a referendum to be held on whether the Welsh Government should be able to vary rates of income tax up or down in Wales.  Following this they were then asked “If such a referendum were held tomorrow, how would you vote?”

Those most likely to support the Welsh Government having the power to vary rates of income tax in Wales were fluent Welsh speakers, with 46% of this group saying they would vote for the change.  Non-Welsh speakers, in contrast, were least likely to support the change (at 30% in favour).

Some differences in voting intentions were noted across the different regions. In Cardiff and South East Wales adults were more likely to vote against the Welsh Government having this power (32%) than in favour (23%).  However, those in North Wales (39%) and Mid/West Wales (37%) were more likely to say they would for the Welsh Government being given this power, probably linked to the high proportion of Welsh speakers in these regions. 

Although over a quarter (26%) of younger people aged 16 to 34 said they would not vote, respondents in this age category were more likely to vote in favour of the Welsh Government being given this power (30%) than against (21%).  In contrast, older respondents aged 55+ were more likely to vote against (38%) than for (33%).

 

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