Britons believe corruption is on the increase

ONE in twenty Britons admits bribing a public official in the last twelve months, according to a global corruption survey released yesterday.

Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer also found that 65 per cent of people in the UK believe corruption has increased in the last two years, with lobbying scandals making the UK’s political parties especially toxic.

The Berlin-based campaign group also claimed that the coalition government’s policies have made the problem worse.

“Despite several warning signals over the past five years, the UK has been complacent about corruption,” the organisation said. “The result is now beginning to show, and some recent actions, like the abolition of the Audit Commission, are likely to make the situation worse.”

However, the UK comes off lightly compared to most other countries. The survey of 114,000 people in 107 countries found that 27 per cent of respondents had paid a bribe when accessing public services and institutions within the last year.

In most countries the public believe either the police or judiciary to be the most corrupt public institution. However, Britons named the media as their most corrupt institution, a substantial increase on previous years and directly correlating with coverage surrounding the phone hacking scandal.