Wealth taxes: stories, metaphors and public attitudes

Prabhakar, Rajiv (2008). Wealth taxes: stories, metaphors and public attitudes. The Political Quarterly, 79(2) pp. 172–178.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-923X.2008.00917.x


Wealth taxes are currently high on the policy agenda in Britain. These taxes will not be political sustainable without public support. However, evidence exists that indicates substantial public opposition to wealth taxes. For example, inheritance tax appears to provoke hostility among the public. Some observers have suggested that the way that wealth taxes are presented - particularly using stories and narratives - could enhance public support. This paper summarises focus group evidence on this suggestion. I report that using narratives and stories can have an impact, although this should not be overstated and much depends on how the narratives are shaped.

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