Improving the economy remains the top priority for the majority
of people. Respondents were shown a list of 9 policy areas and
asked to rank them in terms of importance. Overall, the need to
reduce unemployment ranked as the top concern, followed closely by
the need to generate more economic growth.
Reducing the national debt ranked fourth, suggesting patience in
the government's policy of economic recovery through austerity may
be wearing thin and that people want to see growth, even if that
prevents the national debt being reduced.
There does appear to be a continued appetite for spending more
on services, most notably health, but less enthusiasm for
investment in social care for the elderly, which ranked lowest on
the scale, beneath steps to reduce inequality and crime. Given the
emphasis the public are placing on the economy it will be worrying
for the government that only a fifth of people rate their economic
management over the last year as 'good', whilst nearly half (47%)
say it has been poor.
1. Reducing unemployment
2. Generating economic growth
3. Investing more in health care
4. Reducing the national debt
5. Stricter border controls to reduce immigration
Download the full public opinion monitor for December below.