Our exclusive survey finds that the public think the UK’s economic system is stacked in favour of the wealthy
To mark the launch of the Centre for Progressive Capitalism, we recently commissioned Populus to survey the public on their views on the UK’s economic system. Populus surveyed 2,053 respondents online between 24th and 28th March 2016. The findings provide a stark illustration of the lack of trust in the economic system and in both government and business, as well as people’s fears about the future for young people.
Writing in City AM, three of the members from the Centre for Progressive Capitalism’s cross-party advisory board set out their take on the survey’s findings and why they think we need to restore trust in our economic system. The joint article by Vince Cable, Andrew Cooper and Stephen Kinnock MP argues that “large sections of our society no longer feel they are benefiting from the way in which the economy functions.” They also go on to say: “That’s why we welcome the launch of the Centre for Progressive Capitalism as a much-needed initiative that aims to look at some of the underlying systemic issues across our economic system beyond traditional political divisions and out-dated ideological labels.”
Here are five key findings from the survey:
- Just 11% of the public thinks that the UK’s economic system helps people from all walks of life to achieve their aspirations.
- The public think that the UK’s economic system is stacked in favour of the wealthy. Almost three quarters of respondents said the UK’s economic system is effective at providing opportunities for people from wealthy backgrounds to achieve their aspirations. This compares to just 5% of the public who think that the UK’s economic system is effective at providing opportunities for people from poor backgrounds to achieve their aspirations.
- The economy is not seen has helping women to the same extent as men. 38% of the public said that the UK’s economic system helps men to achieve their aspirations compared to just 17% who said the same for women.
- Trust in government and business is equally low. Just one in ten said they thought government does a great deal to help people from all walks of life to achieve their aspirations. A quarter of the population said that government does nothing at all to help people from all walks of life. Trust in business was only marginally better with just 16% saying they thought big business helps people from all walks of life to achieve their goals.
- Housing, jobs and skills are seen as the biggest barriers for young people. A shortage of housing that is affordable is seen as the biggest barrier preventing young people from achieving their aspirations. 59% said that a shortage of housing that people can afford was a very significant barrier to young people achieving their aspirations in life. The next two biggest barriers were a lack of job opportunities (55%) and a lack of skills (52%).
The image is ‘Anti-TTIP protest’ by Garry Knight, published under CC BY 2.0