More than half of public believe there should be no billionaires in the UK, polling finds

PUBLISHED: 15:35 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:35 18 November 2019

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photograph: Dominc Lipinski/PA Wire.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photograph: Dominc Lipinski/PA Wire.

Polling has suggested that Labour's anti-billionaire sentiment is shared by the public, with 51% believing there should be no billionaires under any circumstances.

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According to a YouGov survey four in 10 believe that the increase in the super-wealthy is a sign that society is getting worse.

A majority of supporters of all parties - excluding the Conservatives - believe that there should be no billionaires under any circumstances. It is a view shared by half of those polled.

The polling should be a boost for Labour, with the party's leadership pledging to take on the UK's billionaires.

In a speech last month, he warned that a Labour government would go after super-rich individuals who exploit a "rigged system" to benefit themselves at the expense of the many.

His colleague, Labour parliamentary candidate Lloyd Russell-Moyle, told BBC Radio 5 Live that he "doesn't think anyone in this country should be a billionaire".

According to YouGov 51% agree with this suggestion that nobody should have £1 billion to their name under any circumstances.

The polling also found 37% consider an increase in the number of billionaires to be a sign of society worsening, just 14% think more billionaires means society is improving.

The opinion that billionaires should not exist is most widely-held among Labour supporters (67%).

With 52% of Lib Dem backers and 50% of Brexit Party voters also feeling that way, only Tory supporters are more pro-billionaire than anti (39%).

A total of 92% of Labour supporters think government should increase billionaire contributions to the state, and 86% of Lib Dems, 76% of Brexit Party backers, and 70% of Conservatives agree.

However, Britons are pessimistic about how many billionaires would part with an increased sum.

Only 5% of people believe the super-wealthy would pay up in the event of a tax hike, with 88% of respondents thinking the government should be taking more action to ensure they do.

Chris Curtis, political research manager at YouGov, said: "Corbyn's attack on billionaires is well in tune with public opinion, according to new YouGov research.

"Half of voters - including half of Lib Dem and Brexit Party voters - say that no-one deserves a personal wealth of £1 billion, and huge majorities would support government moves to tax the super-rich more and stop billionaires in the UK from avoiding tax.

"This election was billed as the 'Brexit election' but if Corbyn can move the debate on to his People versus Ruling Elite narrative, he may yet find success on December 12."

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