Fraud Blocker Despite Labour’s pledge to add VAT to private school fees, high net worth individuals (HNWIs) will vote for Keir Starmer | Saltus


Despite Labour’s pledge to add VAT to private school fees, high net worth individuals (HNWIs) will vote for Keir Starmer

6 June 2024

  • Research reveals 27% of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) would vote Labour, 16% would vote Conservative and 15% would vote Liberal Democrat
  • Even amongst parents who say they will have to pull their children out of private school should Labour add VAT to fees, 23% say they will still vote Labour compared to 16% who would vote Conservative
  • Putting aside their personal vote, 31% think Labour would win the most seats, compared to just 13% who think the Conservatives

According to data from wealth management firm, Saltus, the Labour Party is the most backed political party amongst British high net worth individuals (HNWIs), despite plans to start charging VAT on private school fees.

The Saltus Wealth Index Report, compiled with advice from Dr Mike Peacey at the University of Bristol and based on a biannual poll of 2,000 people with assets of £250,000+, tracks confidence in the UK economy and their own personal finances.

The latest data show that 27% are planning to vote for Keir Starmer’s party, compared to just 16% for the Conservatives and 15% for the Liberal Democrats.

Even amongst respondents who say they will struggle to pay their children’s private school fees if Labour go ahead with their plans to add VAT, support for the Labour party is stronger than it is for the Conservatives. Overall, 26% of parents currently paying for private education said they’d have to remove their child from private school and send them to the local state school if VAT is added to the fees. However, of this group, almost one in four (23%) say they will still vote for Labour in the coming election, compared with just 16% who said they’d vote for the Conservatives and 13% who say they’d vote for the Liberal Democrats.

As well as being more likely to support Labour than Conservatives, respondents believe that Keir Starmer’s party is the most likely to win the election. When asked who they think will gain the most seats, 31% said Labour; more than double those who think the Conservatives would come out on top (13%).

It is only among HNWIs over the age of 55 where more say they would vote Conservative (29%) than Labour (21%). However, of this age group, an even wider margin exists when asked who they think would win, regardless of their own vote, with 70% saying Labour would take the most seats.

When asked about what HNWIs think the biggest priorities should be for the next government, regardless of the political party leading that government, growing the economy (23%), reducing inflation (19%) and increasing spending on the NHS (18%) were the three biggest priorities.

Mike Stimpson, Partner at Saltus, said: “This survey suggests that high net worth individuals not only expect the Labour Party to win the next General Election – regardless of their own personal political views – but that they are also more likely to vote for Keir Starmer than Rishi Sunak on July 4th.

“Given HNWIs often have been seen as Conservative voters, it is interesting to see this intention, particularly given that many parents in our survey have children at private school, and one of Labour’s headline policies is to add VAT to private school fees which could lead to 26% taking their kids out.

“This is an important cohort – they are wealth creators and taxpayers, and their contribution is key to the UK if it is to succeed in the coming decades, with an environment that fosters investment and job creation.

“Previous surveys undertaken by Saltus show confidence in the UK economy and in respondents’ own personal finances fell sharply following Liz Truss’s budget in the Autumn of 2022. There has been some recovery in confidence but not yet to levels prior to Truss’s tenure*.

“Our research also demonstrates how broad the spectrum of political support is among this group. It is clear the Government still has much to do to win their confidence and support.”


Further information

Lydia Parr / Harleen Kaur

[email protected]

t: +44 (0) 20 4526 5169

*The Index has risen to 64.4 in this edition, a rise of 4.9 points or 8% compared to November 2022, shortly after the Liz Truss Budget, which saw a notable negative impact on confidence. The Index, however, still sits well below highs of 67.7 recorded a few months prior to Truss becoming Prime Minister.


About Saltus Wealth Index Report

  • The survey included 2,000 UK respondents (aged 18+) who have £250k+ of investable assets.
  • Research was conducted by Censuswide (Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society, based on the ESOMAR principles).
  • This research was carried out online in December 2023.


Who will you vote for in the General Election?

Conservative Party 15.70%
Green Party 13.25%
Labour Party 26.70%
Liberal Democrat Party 15.45%
Plaid Cymru 8.85%
Reform Party 8.55%
Scottish Nationalist Party 3.40%
Other political party or independent candidate 1.45%
Unsure/Prefer not to say 6.65%


Who do you think will win the most seats in parliament?

Conservative Party 13.00%
Green Party 13.60%
Labour Party 31.50%
Liberal Democrat Party 14.10%
Plaid Cymru 9.60%
Reform Party 7.75%
Scottish Nationalist Party 2.80%
Other political party or independent candidate 1.35%
Unsure/Prefer not to say 6.30%


Which of the below do you think should be the biggest priorities for the next government, if any? (Select up to three.)

Grow the economy 23.35%
Reduce inflation 19.50%
Increase spending on the NHS 17.75%
Reduce inheritance tax 15.05%
Reduce the tax burden on individuals 14.95%
Reduce the national debt 14.75%
Stop the small boats / tackle the refugee crisis 14.70%
More support/funding to Ukraine 14.25%
Increase the number of police on our streets 14.10%
Build at least 300,000 new homes per year 14.05%
Reduce the tax burden on businesses 13.50%
Increase spending on schools 13.10%
Hold water companies to account for wrongdoing 12.65%
Shift decisively to clean, homegrown low carbon power (for example by increasing the number of wind farms) 12.00%
End all public sector worker strikes 11.55%
None of the above 0.40%


About Saltus

Saltus is a wealth management company that combines empathy and intellect in equal measure. We help our clients achieve their goals in life through expert financial planning as well as providing sharp focused investment management.

We started life as an investment management firm in 2004, yet over the years we saw that providing high-quality investment management is just one of the ways we can help people achieve their aspirations. Saltus Financial Planning was launched in 2015, with the aim of being an industry leader in providing financial advice.

The Saltus group now employs over 200 people.

Find out more at Saltus

Share this article: