Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2021-2022

Figures show continued trust in the Scottish Government.

Three-quarters (75%) of people in Scotland believe the Scottish Government should have the most influence over the way the country is run, compared to just 14% who believe the UK Government should.

This year’s Scottish Social Attitudes Survey also shows 66% of people trust the Scottish Government to work in the country’s best interests.

The survey measured the public’s views on a range of issues including influence over how Scotland is run, levels of tax and government priorities, the economy, NHS and political engagement.

Its findings reflect emerging public concern in the cost of living crisis, with 66% of respondents believing the economy had got weaker in the previous 12 months.

The survey has previously been conducted face to face but as a result of coronavirus restrictions in place at the time of fieldwork, this year’s survey was completed via telephone.

This change in methodology has impacted the nature of the sample and responses received, and as a result has affected comparability with survey data from previous years. This year’s report solely focusses on data from this year’s survey rather than examining trends over time.

The findings also show:

  • 64% of people thought the level of taxation and spending on health, education and social benefits should be increased, whilst 32% thought the level of taxation and spending should stay the same
  • 68% agreed that income should be redistributed from the better-off to those who are less well-off, while 16% disagreed
  • over half of people (54%) in Scotland were satisfied with the way NHS Scotland is run
  • 98% of people thought it was important to vote in Scottish Parliament elections, 95% in local council elections and 92% in UK Government elections
  • 64% of people thought the Scottish Parliament was giving Scotland a stronger voice in the UK and only 7% thought it was giving Scotland a weaker voice

Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson said:

“The findings in this survey demonstrate continued faith in the Scottish Government to deliver on behalf of the people of Scotland. They clearly show that despite these uncertain times, people agree with the Scottish Government’s priorities to build a fairer, greener, wealthier Scotland.

“Despite these figures being from earlier in the year it is clear the cost of living crisis was starting to impact family finances and alarm bells were ringing about the economy. The Scottish Government is working tirelessly to provide support to those who need it most. We are increasing the Scottish Child Payment to £25 per week and extending it to eligible children under 16 in the coming weeks, helping thousands of additional families this winter. We are also continuing to urge the UK Government to take all of the necessary steps to support the most vulnerable through this profoundly difficult time.

“Given the clear democratic mandate we have, not to mention the continued trust the public has in the Scottish Government to act in their interest, we will work to ensure people have a choice on independence, ensuring that choice is an informed one.”


Scottish Social Attitudes 2021/2022

The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2021-2022 was conducted by the Scottish Centre for Social Research (ScotCen) between 21st October 2021 and 27th March 2022.


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