UK ranks second from bottom in global trust survey

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21st January 2020 14:52 - Central Government

UK ranks second from bottom in global trust survey: When it comes to trust, a new global survey has found that UK citizens have a low level of trust of NGOs, business, government and media. Fewer than half those polled (42%) said they trusted insitutions would 'do what is right', meaning the UK ranked second from bottom in the Index, just above Russia with 30%.

In the 2020 research, the UK fell three places from its 2019 position and also fell a percentage point (43% in 2019 to 42% in 2020).

Third from bottom in this year's survey was Japan, followed by South Africa and Spain.  

The annual Edelman Trust Barometer, now in its 20th year polled 34,000 respondents around the globe.

It found that two thirds of UK citizens polled think that the behaviours of some politicians have made the country more divided. However, since the December 2019 election, the survey revealed an increase of trust in the government by 10%

When it comes to politics, fewer than one in ten (9%) reported that they felt their views are ‘well represented' in UK politics, with less than a fifth (19%) saying they believe other UK citizens are interestested in the views of others. 

One of the questions posed to respondents (and one that was asked for the first time in the history of the survey) was around politicians lying. It found that more than half those polled in the UK felt that politicians today are less trustworthy than they have been in previous eras. 

It also found that two thirds of the electorate believe that politicians use issues to get one up on their opponents (67%), or to drive feelings of fear in order to satisfy their own objectives (60%). Just 29% said that they believe politicians are genuinely in the game of seeking to sort the nation's issues. 

For those politicians who are found to be lying, 59% of UK respondents said they should resign from their post, while a third (34%) said they should be issued with a fine. Almost a quarter said that politicians who lie should face imprisonment (24%). 

Other findings - in brief

The research also found that more than a quarter of UK respondents (27%) believe they will be worse off in the next five years, which saw them rank as the fourth most pessimistic citizens in the survey. In addition, it found that six in ten UK respondents had lost their faith in democracy and 49% 'feared being left behind' (ranking 5th from bottom above Canada, Ireland, Japan and Saudi Arabia). 

For the first time in the survey's history, global respondents were asked about their attitudes towards capitalism, with more than half (56%) saying the system does more harm than good in the world.

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