12/05/2010

Scots Trust In UK Government 'Wavers'

The 2009 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey reveals that people trust the Scottish Government to act in Scotland's best interests rather than the UK government by a factor of more than two-to-one.

The survey shows 61 per cent of people trusting the Scottish Government to act in Scotland's interests, compared to 25 per cent for the UK government.

The survey also shows a continued growth in those who think that the Scottish Government is the institution with most influence over how Scotland is run. This finding increased to 33 per cent in 2009 from 28 per cent in 2007, and continued a trend which began in the early 2000s. It compares with 39 per cent who felt the UK Government had most influence in 2009 - a fall from 47 per cent in 2007.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "This survey was conducted at a time when politics and politicians were under intense scrutiny due to events at Westminster, so this is an extremely positive survey which demonstrates that people in Scotland trust the Holyrood system of government.

"It finds that the Scottish Government is trusted to act in Scotland's best interests ahead of the UK Government by a factor of more than two-to-one, and continued growth in those who think that the Scottish Government is the institution with most influence over how Scotland is run.

"We all face significant challenges in supporting the fragile economic recovery, and this survey indicates that we are working in a partnership of trust with the people as we continue to deliver our comprehensive Economic Recovery Plan."

Other research findings include:

* In 2009, for the first time, more people thought standards in the NHS in Scotland in the previous 12 months reflected Scottish Government rather than UK Government policies

* The proportion of people who believed the Scottish Government was 'very' or 'quite' good at listening increased from 43 per cent in 2007 to 48 per cent in 2009

* 72 per cent of people felt the economy in Scotland had got weaker in the 12 months prior to the 2009 survey (compared with 11 per cent in 2007)

* The proportion of people in Scotland who favoured increasing levels of taxation and public spending fell from 56 per cent in 2004 to 37 per cent in 2009

The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSAS) was launched by the Scottish Centre for Social Research in 1999 following devolution. The Office of the Chief Researcher has funded a core module of questions on attitudes to government in Scotland since 2004. There was no survey in 2008.

Fieldwork for the 2009 SSAS took place between April and September 2009. Around 1,500 face-to-face interviews are carried out annually (1,482 in 2009) with a representative sample of the Scottish population.

The report was carried out by the Scottish Centre for Social Research.

(GK/BMcC)

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