Four damning polls that show why Rishi Sunak needs to cut taxes now

Rishi Sunak is hoping Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement can boost polling
The Conservatives trailed Labour by 21 points on Nov 17, compared with 22 points at the same stage last year - Stefan Rousseau/AFP

Jeremy Hunt will on Wednesday publish his much-anticipated Autumn Statement and the Chancellor is understood to have come to the conclusion that the time for tax cuts is now.

It comes as the Conservatives are struggling to gain ground on Labour despite Rishi Sunak’s multiple attempted resets in recent months, from his keynote speech at the Tory conference to Lord Cameron’s shock return to front-line politics in last week’s reshuffle.

Polling suggests that Mr Sunak is stuck in roughly the same position he was 12 months ago, with the Conservatives trailing Labour by 21 points on Nov 17, compared with 22 points at the same stage last year.

Sir Keir Starmer is also seen as a better fit for No 10. Asked who they thought would make the best Prime Minister, 32 per cent preferred the Labour leader, compared with 22 per cent who put their confidence in Mr Sunak, according to a recent YouGov survey.

The Tories will be particularly concerned by the fact that voters tend to identify Labour with a lower tax burden – traditionally a Conservative hallmark.

Asked by the pollsters Redfield & Wilton which party they associated with lower taxes, 32 per cent said Labour and 23 per cent said the Tories. A further 7 per cent said both, 26 per cent said neither and 12 per cent didn’t know.

Labour is also more trusted on the nation’s finances, according to YouGov. Asked which political party would be the best at handling the economy, 29 per cent put their faith in Labour, compared with 20 per cent who backed the Tories.

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