Scottish Social Attitudes 2015: Attitudes to Government, the National Health Service, the Economy and Standard of Living

This report provides the findings of the core module of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2015 on attitudes to government, the National Health Service, the economy and standard of living.

This document is part of a collection

Key findings

Attitudes to government

  • In 2015, almost 3 in 4 people (73%) said they trusted the Scottish Government to act in Scotland's best long-term interest compared with 23% who said this of the UK Government. The Scottish Government was also more trusted than the UK Government to make fair decisions (49% compared with 18%). 34% trusted their local council to make fair decisions.
  • 3 in 5 (59%) thought the Scottish Government was good at listening to people's views before it takes decisions compared with 44% who thought this of their local council and 17% who thought this of the UK Government.
  • A substantial majority thought that having a Scottish Parliament gives ordinary people more say in how Scotland is run (61%) and a stronger voice in the UK (70%). This marks a return to the levels in 1999.
  • Equal proportions said that the UK (42%) and Scottish (41%) Governments have the most influence over the way Scotland is run. Around three-quarters (76%) thought that the Scottish Government ought to have the most influence, compared with 14% who chose the UK Government.

Views on the National Health Service in Scotland

  • Satisfaction levels with the NHS have remained unchanged since 2013, with 62% of people satisfied with the way the NHS runs and 24% dissatisfied.
  • There was a significant increase, compared with 2011, in the proportion of people who thought that the standard of the health service had fallen in the last year (31% vs 39%). More people blamed the UK Government than the Scottish Government for these falling standards.

Views on the economy and standard of living in Scotland

  • Helping the economy to grow faster was the most commonly chosen priority for Scottish Government action (32%) in 2015.
  • 1 in 4 people (26%) thought that the economy had strengthened and 35% that it had weakened in the last year. In contrast, only around 19% thought that the standard of living in Scotland had increased in the last year, while 42% thought it had decreased.
  • People were much more likely to 'credit' the Scottish Government than the UK Government with improvements in the economy (54% vs 16%) but only slightly more likely to 'credit' the Scottish Government with an increase in the standard of living (37% vs 28% for the UK Government).
  • Conversely, the 'blame' for any perceived fall in the standards of the economy and general living standards were more likely to be attributed to UK Government policies (38% blame the UK Government for a weaker economy compared with 14% blaming the Scottish Government).


Email: Donna Easterlow

Back to top