Publication - FOI/EIR release

Scottish Government stance on economic research: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
21 Apr 2021
Scottish Government stance on economic research: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000103788
Date received: 27 Oct 2020
Date responded: 15 Mar 2021
Information requested

whether during the last 7 months since 1 March 2020 the Scottish Government has carried out polling on issues about the economy and/or Scotland’s finances. You also asked if such polling research was conducted to provide the following details:

  • Which Minister in Government sanctioned such polling and were their Special Advisors involved in drafting questions.
  • How much did this polling research on economy/finance cost and how much has polling research on economy/finance cost since 1 March 2020?
  • Please provide copies of any findings produced as a result of polling research on the economy/finance.
Response

The Scottish Government does not commission polling as such, although the term is sometimes used interchangeably with quick turnaround public opinion surveys or omnibus surveys. To support your request, we have provided details of the latter; quick turnaround public opinion surveys or omnibus surveys on issues about the economy and/or Scotland’s finances.

Since 1 March 2020, two main projects were commissioned and are summarised below.

1. ‘Public attitudes to tax and public understanding of tax’. The Minister involved in the approval was the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, no SpAds were involved in questionnaire development. The cost of the research was £1,600 excl. VAT. The findings are attached in Annex A.

2. Coronavirus Public Attitudes Research. (YouGov run the survey from March 2020 till present and Ipsos Mori from March till August 2020). These are weekly surveys to understand health, wellbeing, and public mood through the pandemic. A small number of questions looked at public concern about the impact of the pandemic on the economy. The First Minister approved the research and no SpAds were involved in questionnaire development. Costs are not calculated by question, hence it is not possible to isolate the amounts for the specific questions on economic/financial content. All data is published on gov.scot. The most recent report (January 2021) can be found on Public attitudes to Coronavirus: January update - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).

For information, previous reports are:
April 2020: https://www.gov.scot/publications/public-attitudes-coronavirus-april-summary/pages/1/
May 2020: https://www.gov.scot/publications/public-attitudes-coronavirus-summary/
June/July 2020: https://www.gov.scot/publications/public-attitudes-coronavirus-june-early-julysummary/pages/6/
October 2020: https://www.gov.scot/publications/public-attitudes-coronavirus-october-update/

About FOI
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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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