Scots more supportive of tax rises

Scots are significantly more supportive of tax rises to fund public services than other parts of the UK, new research has found.

Picture: contributed

A majority of people in Scotland (62 per cent) would back tax hikes, compared with 46 per cent in London, 43 per cent in Wales, 45 per cent in the South of England and 50 per cent in the north.

It comes after a shake-up of the tax system in Scotland which will see hundreds of millions extra raised in tax as middle earners face significant hikes, while low earners will get a marginal cut.

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New research by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) has also found that Londonders have more in common than people in other parts of the UK, new research indicates.

The UK capital and Scotland are both likely to be more left-wing and pro-welfare than those in the south, north and Wales. Scots and Londoners are also less antagonistic to unemployment benefits and claimants, according to the findings. Paradoxically, views on sexuality represent one of the starkest contrasts between Londoners and Scots, with the former giving a much lower level of agreement to the statement that pre-marital sex is rarely or never wrong (73 per cent vs 82 per cent), also lagging behind the Welsh (93 per cent), southerners (89 per cent) and northerners (85 per cent).

London, like Scotland, voted to remain in the EU during the referendum two years ago.

Neil Smith, research director at Natcen, said “While there are clear distinctions in the way Londoners think about certain social and political issues, in quite a few instances – despite the geographical distance and the different make-ups of our populations – Londoners share more in common with the Scots than with their regional neighbours.

“Both are more likely to be engaged in politics, have the greatest proportion of left-affiliated individuals, are more likely to fall on the pro-welfare end of the scale, and are most inclined to sympathise with benefit claimants.”

Those on the anti-welfare end of the scale comprised a small proportion of all regions, with the smallest proportion in London.

Over half (51 per cent) of Londoners and 48 per cent of Scots are more engaged in politics than people in other regions (35-48 per cent). However, whereas Londoners have always shown more interest in politics, Scotland’s current high level is a recent development, up 26 per cent from 2011.

Bharat Mehta, CEO at Trust for London, added: “The findings show that the views of Londoners are different from people in other regions, however, not as different as you might expect.”