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Snap Budget poll shows public backing for annuity reforms

Two-thirds of the public support Chancellor George Osborne’s pensions reforms in a snap YouGov poll taken after the Budget.

YouGov data shows the decision to allow people to take their pension pots as cash is opposed by 8 per cent while 26 per cent said they don’t know what to make of the reforms.

From next April over-55s will not need to buy an annuity and can take their entire pots as cash, with 25 per cent tax free and 75 per cent at marginal rates.

Based on a survey of 1,904 people spread across voting intention, age, region and gender, the poll showed huge support for individual policies but lukewarm support for the package as whole.

Osborne also introduced a new £15,000 “mega Isa” which can include stocks and shares or cash. He also abolished the 10p tax on savings up to £5,000.

The moves were backed by 75 per cent of votes ,with 8 per cent opposed and 17 per cent saying they do not know.

There was also huge support for raising the personal allowance to £10,500 from next April. A massive 89 per cent backed the move, with 4 per cent opposing it.

As part of the personal allowance increase Osborne also increased the amount people can earn before paying  the higher 40 per cent rate of income tax from £41,450 to £42,285.

Nearly a quarter of those polled opposed the rise while 64 per cent approved of it.

But despite strong support for individual measures just 26 per cent believe the country will be better off as a result and 15 per cent believe it will be worse off.

One in five believe their family will be better off while 18 per cent believe they will be worse.

YouGov spokesman Anthony Wells says: “Budgets are more than the sum of their parts. It is not really whether people approve of all the fiddly little bits, it is the overall perception of the budget that counts. On that front, it seems to be a thumbs up so far.”

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