Four times as many people in Scotland trust the Scottish Government to act in Scotland’s best interests than trust the UK Coalition Government to do so, new research shows.
Trust in the Scottish Government has leapt from 61 per cent to 71 per cent over the past year, according to the latest annual Scottish Social Attitudes survey. Trust in the UK Government is at just 18 per cent.
Key findings from the 2011 survey show:
- Seventy-one per cent of people trust the Scottish Government to act in Scotland’s best interests (up from 61 per cent in 2010), compared to just 18 per cent who trust the UK Government (down from 35 per cent in 2007).
- Seventy-three per cent say the Scottish Government ought to have most influence over how Scotland is run, while 38 per cent think it does have the most influence. That 38 per cent figure means that, for the first time, the proportion who said the Scottish Government had the most influence over how Scotland is run was the same as the proportion who said it was the UK Government (also 38 per cent).
- There has been a big increase in the number of people who think the Scottish Government listens to people’s views before taking decisions (up to 56 per cent from 45 per cent). Again, this was substantially higher than the proportion who said the same of the UK Government (19 per cent). There has also been an increase in people saying they trust the Scottish Government to make fair decisions (up to 46 per cent from 35 per cent).
- Sixty per cent feel the Scottish Parliament gives ordinary people more say in how Scotland is governed – up from 42 per cent in 2010, and the highest recorded figure since devolution.
- The proportion who trust the Scottish Government ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’ to make fair decisions increased from 35 per cent in 2010 to 46 per cent in 2011.
- There was an increase in awareness of the activities of the Scottish Government – 49 per cent said they had heard ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’ about these in the last 12 months, in comparison with 38 per cent who said the same in 2010.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“These findings show that there is a clear public appetite for Scotland to have greater control over its own affairs – and that is exactly what independence offers. The people of Scotland no longer trust the UK Government to act in their best interests. Their trust lies with the Scottish Government, as they know we will listen to their views and act fairly.
“That is backed up by the numbers who responded to the consultation on the independence referendum. We have had a fantastic response from the people of Scotland, with over 21,000 contributions to the consultation – over seven times the number that responded to the UK Government’s consultation on the same issue.
“That positive response sent a clear signal that the people of Scotland believe the Scottish Parliament is the place to decide the terms and timing of the referendum – and that these should not be imposed by Westminster.
“The survey also shows that the economy remains the public’s highest priority, just as it remains ours. We will act on the trust that the people of Scotland have placed in us to continue to pursue policies that deliver jobs and sustainable economic growth. But we know we could do so much more if we achieved the full job-creating powers of an independent Scotland.”
Survey findings also showed that:
- The most common response in relation to education and public transport was that standards had stayed the same in the last 12 months (39 per cent for health and public transport and 30 per cent for education).
- Satisfaction with the NHS has increased in recent years and is now at its highest level since the Scottish Parliament was established (55 per cent in 1999, 40 per cent in 2005 and 56 per cent in 2011).
- In 2011 compared with 2010, there was a slight improvement in views of the economy over the last year.
- There was an increase in the proportion of people who thought that the general standard of living had fallen in the last year (67 per cent compared with 54 per cent in 2010), but people did not appear to feel more negative about their own personal standard of living (in 2007 the mean satisfaction score was 7.79 and in 2011 it was 7.75).