Trust in government and politics revealed

The Chief Statistician today released a set of Official Statistics drawn from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2016, covering a range of topics including attitudes to government, economy, standard of living and the NHS and political engagement.

In 2016, 65% trusted the Scottish Government to work in Scotland’s best interests and 40% to make fair decisions, down from 73% and 49% respectively in 2015. Consistent with previous years, trust in the UK Government remained considerably lower, at 25% and 18% respectively.

For the first year in the time series, in 2016 more people thought that the Scottish Government had most influence over the way Scotland is run (42%) than thought the UK Government had most influence (41%).

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Three quarters (75%) of people said that the Scottish Government should have most influence over the way Scotland is run. 14% said the UK Government should have the most influence.

In 2016, 71% said that the Scottish Parliament gave Scotland a stronger voice in the UK (71%), the highest figure in the time series. Similar to 2015, 59% said it gave ordinary people more say in how Scotland is governed.

Helping the economy to grow faster was most often reported (28%) as what people thought should be the Scottish Government’s highest priority. More than half of all respondents (54%) thought the economy had weakened in the past year, compared with 34% in 2015. Of those who felt that the economy had weakened, 35% attributed this to UK Government policy, 18% attributed it to Scottish Government policy, and 37% to ‘some other reason’.

The majority of respondents were satisfied with the way the NHS was being run in 2016 (60%), similar to 2013 and 2015. More than a third thought that standards in the health service had fallen (37%). Of those who thought standards had fallen, 40% attributed this to UK Government policy, 25% attributed this to Scottish Government policy, and 18% to ‘some other reason’.