Tag Archives: british social attitudes survey

What does the latest Social Attitudes Survey say to Liberals?

The 34th British Social Attitudes survey has found 48 per cent of Britons would back the government increasing taxes to bolster spending, the highest support for such measures since 2004. Britons think the government should prioritise spending on health (83 per cent), education (71 per cent) and the police (57 per cent).

The key findings of the report are summarised broadly as a country that is becoming:

Kinder: after 7 years of government austerity, public opinion shows signs of moving back in favour of wanting more tax and spend and  greater redistribution of income. Attitudes towards benefit claimants appeared to have softened, with the proportion of people saying benefit claimants don’t deserve help dropping from 32 per cent in 2014 to 21 per cent in 2016, the lowest level ever recorded by the survey. People particularly favour prioritising spending on disabled people.

Not soft-hearted: the public in general continues to take a tough line on the response to threats at home and abroad. More than half of Britons want the authorities to be given strong powers to respond to terrorism and crime, and record numbers want defence spending increased.

After pensions being protected from austerity, the public are losing sympathy with the idea that this should be a priority for further spending.

The public takes a dim view of benefit fraud and tax evasion, with many thinking that exploiting “legal loopholes” is also wrong. Further, more people consider benefit fraud wronger than tax evasion. While the proportion who prioritise more spending on increasing the benefits for disabled people has risen, there is little support for more spending on benefits for the unemployed, perhaps because half of people think the unemployed could find a job if they wanted to. Only 16 per cent of those surveyed said they would back more spending on the unemployed.

Posted in Op-eds | 15 Comments

Politics is losing people, especially young people – what do we do about it?

Generational Trends Politics BSAIt is no surprise, but it still makes grim reading. According to today’s release of the British Social Attitudes survey, most young people are no longer interested in politics. The survey shows that we are not just losing an entire generation to politics. People of all ages are becoming less engaged with the political process.

We face future prospect of governments being elected on turnouts of well below 50%. As disinterest in party politics grows, we must ask whether our political structures, especially political parties, will still be relevant in the decades to come.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged | 51 Comments

British Social Attitudes survey: what does it signify for the Liberal Democrats?

While the BBC has focused on more liberal attitudes to homosexuality, the latest British Social Attitudes survey contains some other interesting results.

The survey found that 27% of people identify as Labour supporters, compared to 32% for the Tories. That suggests Labour’s current poll rating is pretty similar to the percentage of adults who think of themselves as “Labour people”. That presumably reflects Labour has been reduced to a core vote of devoted party loyalists. The only remaining question is how many more of those 27-30% of Labour voters can be shaken from party identification (which is a much stronger measure …

Posted in News | 19 Comments
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