Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2011: Core Module - Attitudes to Government, the Economy and Public Services in Scotland - Research Findings

The report uses SSA data from 1999 onwards to explore changing attitudes to government, the economy and public services. It also discusses findings on who people think should be responsible for providing and paying for particular public services.

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Main Findings

  • Attitudes towards the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament were significantly more positive in 2011 compared with 2010 across a wide range of measures. For example:
    • 71% in 2011, compared with 61% in 2010, trusted the Scottish Government 'just about always' or 'most of the time' to act in Scotland's best interests
    • 60% in 2011, compared with 42% in 2010, felt that having a Scottish Parliament gives ordinary people more say in how Scotland is governed
  • Perceptions of the UK Government remained more negative than those of the Scottish Government. For example, just 18% trusted the UK Government to act in Scotland's best interests.
  • Growing the economy remained the most commonly chosen priority for the Scottish Government (chosen by 36%, in comparison with 17% who chose the next most popular option, 'cut crime').
  • Views of the economy were a little more positive in 2011 compared with 2010, though the balance of opinion remained negative (57% felt the economy had got weaker in the last 12 months). More (67%, compared with 54% in 2010) felt the standard of living had fallen in the last year.
  • Mean satisfaction with people's own standard of living changed little between 2007 and 2011 (7.79 in 2007; 7.75 in 2011).
  • The most common view of standards in the health service, education and public transport in Scotland was that they had stayed the same in the previous year.
  • 56% were 'very' or 'quite satisfied' with the way the NHS runs nowadays.
  • More people felt that government rather than private companies would provide more cost effective (56%) and better quality (60%) services for older people who need regular help. This picture was reversed in relation to charities or not-for-profit providers - 56% felt charities would provide a more cost effective service than government, and 54% that they would provide better quality services.
  • While 51% of people said that the government should always pay for personal care for older people, 46% thought who pays should depend on how much money a person has at their disposal.


Email: Linzie Liddell

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