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British Social Attitudes, 2012
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Table 1.1 Views on government responsibility for providing welfare, 1998-2011
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% agree government should be mainly responsible for …19981999200120032005200820102011
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… ensuring people have enough to live on if they become unemployed 85878881...59
4
… ensuring people have enough to live on in retirement56586258565852.
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… paying for the cost of healthcare when someone is ill 82858783868688.
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… ensuring that people have enough to live on if they become sick for a long time or disabled 80838483838484.
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Weighted base31463143328732763210333332973311
8
Unweighted base31463143328732723193335832973311
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10
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Figure 1.1 Attitudes to taxation and spending, 1983-2011
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Attitudes towards taxation and spending198319841985198619871989199019911993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011
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Reduce taxes and spend less9%5%6%5%3%3%3%3%4%4%5%4%3%3%4%5%3%3%6%6%7%6%7%8%8%9%6%
15
Keep taxes and spending the same 54%50%43%44%42%37%37%29%28%33%31%34%31%32%34%40%34%31%38%42%43%43%47%50%55%56%55%
16
Increase taxes and spend more32%39%45%46%50%56%54%65%63%58%61%59%62%63%58%50%59%63%51%49%46%46%42%39%34%31%36%
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Weighted base176116451769306627662930269828362945346936333620135531463143230232873435327621302167322830822184113432973311
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Unweighted base171916751804310028473029279729182945346936333620135531463143229232873435327221462166324030942229113932973311
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Figure 1.2 Attitudes to government spending on welfare benefits and taxation and spending in general, 1987-2011
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198719891991199319941995199619981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011
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% agree government should spend more on welfare beneifts55%61%58%53%50%49%43%43%40%38%43%44%43%36%36%35%32%35%27%29%28%
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Weighted base1243252924282595295731453103254624782991282129298732610269728132663295696328102845
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Unweighted base 1281260424812567292931353085253124502980279529008812609269928222672300096727912841
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% agree government should increase taxes and spend more50%56%65%63%58%61%59%63%58%50%59%63%51%49%46%46%42%39%34%31%36%
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Weighted base276629302836294534693633362031463143230232873435327621302167322830822184113432973311
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Unweighted base284730292918294534693633362031463143229232873435327221462166324030942229113932973311
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Table 1.2 Attitudes to government spending on different benefits, 1998-2011
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% would like to see more government spending on …1998199920022004200620082011
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… benefits for unemployed people22252215161515
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… benefits for disabled people who cannot work74747265646353
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… benefits for parents who work on very low incomes70717164686958
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… benefits for single parents35344036393829
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… benefits for retired people73717474737357
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… benefits for people who care for those who are sick or disabled84848482848575
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Weighted base3146314334353199322833333311
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Unweighted base3146314334353199324032583311
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Figure 1.3 Attitudes to unemployment benefits by unemployment rate, 1983-2011
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19831984198519861987198819891990199119921993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011
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% agree too low and cause hardship46%49%44%44%51%n/a52%50%53%n/a55%53%51%48%46%29%33%40%37%29%34%23%26%23%26%21%29%23%19%
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% agree too high and discourage work 35%28%34%33%29%n/a27%29%27%n/a24%24%30%32%28%46%42%36%37%47%40%54%50%54%54%61%51%54%62%
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% unemployed in UK 1112111111977910101098766655555556788
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Weighted base176116451769306627662930269828362945346911993620135531463143342632873435327231993210322830823333113432973311
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Unweighted base171916751804310028473029279729182945346912343620135531463143342632873435327631993139324030943258113932973311
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Figure 1.4 Attitudes to welfare recipients 1987-2011
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198719891991199319941995199619981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011
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% agree many don't deserve help31%28%26%24%26%30%28%32%27%31%32%36%38%39%40%29%36%37%34%35%35%
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% agree most unemployed people could find a job if they wanted one41%52%38%27%32%38%39%54%56%60%63%65%66%69%69%67%67%68%55%54%56%
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Weighted base1243252924282595295731453085295624782991282129298812610269728132663295696327912845
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Unweighted base1281260424812567292931353103300024502980279529008732609269928222672300096728102841
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Figure 1.5 Attitudes to the welfare state, 1983-2011
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19831984198519871989199119931994199519961999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011
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% agree welfare state encourages people to stop helping each other37%38%32%40%32%27%32%31%36%31%32%35%28%30%35%24%32%28%30%32%34%38%33%
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% agree if benefits less generous, people stand on own feet n/an/an/a33%30%26%25%27%33%33%38%38%39%44%42%47%49%47%52%54%53%55%54%
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% disagree cutting benefits would damage too many people's lives n/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/a16%15%18%17%18%18%18%21%20%22%25%23%
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% agree creation of welfare state one of Britain's proudest achievements n/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/a13%12%14%10%13%12%14%14%14%16%15%15%
69
Weighted base161015221502124325292428259529573145308524782991282129298812610269728132663295696327912845
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Unweighted base165015621530128126042481256729293135310324502980279529008732609269928222672300096728102841
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Table 1.3 Attitudes to the welfare system, 2010
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Attitudes to the current benefits systemsPositive viewNeutral viewNegative viewOverall assessment (positive view - negative view)Weighted baseUnweighted base
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It supports people in low-paid work (agree)%5319134028412845
78
It targets benefits only at those who really need them (agree)%232135-1228412845
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It is far too complicated (disagree)%82639-3128412845
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It is slow to respond to changes in circumstances (disagree%52643-3828412845
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It effectively encourages recipients to move off benefits (agree)%91936-2728412845
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Table 1.4 Priorities for improving the benefits system
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Priorities for improving the benefits system Highest priority First or second highest priority
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%%
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Targeting benefits only at those who really need them3353
88
Rewarding those who work or look for work1837
89
Making sure those who are entitled to money claim it1426
90
Reducing fraud1332
91
Making sure those who save are not penalised1226
92
Providing benefits for those who cannot work614
93
Making sure payments are fast and accurate37
94
Weighted bases3297
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Unweighted bases3297
96
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Table 1.5 Agreement that government should be the main provider of support to the unemployed, by demographic characteristics, 2003 and 2011
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% agree government should be main provider of support to the unemployed20032011% change since 2003
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