Faith in government slashed in midst of double-dip recession

Ben Southwood
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CITIZENS’ trust in parliament and government dived this year, data showed yesterday, reversing gains seen in 2011 when the economy looked back on its way to growth.

Twenty-three per cent of adults aged 15 and over said they tended to trust parliament, when surveyed by the Office for National Statistics in May, down from 29 per cent in 2011 and falling below the 24 per cent who said so in 2010.

Even fewer – 21 per cent – said they tended to trust the government, a calamitous fall from the 32 per cent who expressed faith last year, and back to values seen in the darkest depths of the recession in 2009.

Despite this lack of trust, 63 per cent agreed that for all its faults, the British democratic system is one of the finest in the world – though older groups were much more fond of British democracy. Just 48 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds agreed with the statement, versus some 76 per cent of over 60s who affirmed the claim.

When asked what it was about British democracy they liked least, 53 per cent said the quality of our politicians, while 39 per cent disliked the way peers are selected to sit in the House of Lords.