Trust in the Scottish Government has fallen since 2015, according to a new survey which also identified growing the economy as the top priority for the public.
Statistics released from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSAS) found fewer than half of those surveyed (40 per cent) last year trusted the Scottish Government to make fair decisions – a fall from the 49 per cent recorded in 2015.
Almost two-thirds (65 per cent) trusted the government to work in Scotland’s best interests – a fall from the 73 per cent recorded the previous year.
Trust in the UK government was lower with 25 per cent believing Westminster-based ministers worked in Scotland’s best interests and 18 per cent trusted them to make fair decisions.
More people thought that the Scottish Government had most influence over the way Scotland is run (42 per cent) than thought the UK government had most influence (41 per cent).
Three-quarters (75 per cent) of people said that the Scottish Government should have most influence over the way Scotland is run. Fourteen per cent said the UK Government should have the most influence
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Helping the economy to grow faster was the most commonly chosen priority for Scottish Government action (28 per cent).
More than half of respondents (54 per cent) said the economy had weakened over the past year, compared with 34 per cent in 2015.
More than one third (35 per cent) attributed the weakening economy to UK Government policy, 18 per cent to Scottish Government policy and 37 per cent to “some other reason”.
Yesterday Labour economy spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “It’s little surprise that more than half of those taking part in this survey said the economy has weakened given the Tories’ reckless plans for a hard Brexit.
The last thing Scotland needs is even more uncertainty, so this should send a strong signal to the SNP to drop its plans for a divisive second independence referendum.”
Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles said: “This survey recognises that the Scottish Government has enormous influence over the way this country is run and shows that people are desperate for the SNP to get back to the day job.
“Their independence obsession has resulted in fewer people trusting them to make fair decisions and act in Scotland’s best interest.”
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay claimed the survey showed the people trusted the Scottish Government to listen to their views and act fairly. He added that the Government shared the people’s views on the importance of the economy.