A survey revealed that a majority of Britons support tax increases and more spending

An annual survey of public attitudes shows that a majority of Britons support higher taxes and welfare spending, while nearly half support income redistribution to benefit the less affluent.

About 52 percent of survey respondents said the government should raise taxes and spend more on health, education and social benefits, according to research by the National Center for Social Research released Thursday.

The level is up two percentage points from the previous year and 36 percent from the past decade, reflecting a shift in public concern about social inequality as the country grapples with a cost-of-living crisis.

“Our annual survey indicates that the public is facing a ‘cost of living crisis’ with a desire to increase government spending as it has during the pandemic,” said Gillian Pryor, executive vice president at NatCen, a research institute.

He added that “recognition of inequality in Britain has reached a level not seen since the 1990s, with people more willing than they were a decade ago for government to redistribute income from the better off to the less well off.”

The results come ahead of Friday’s mini-budget, in which new Prime Minister Liz Truss is expected to announce a package of tax cuts for wealthy and profitable businesses.

Measures are likely to include cutting national insurance and canceling a planned increase in the corporate tax, which is intended to stimulate growth to help the country manage rising inflation and energy bills.

In August, UK inflation was 9.9 per cent, its highest in nearly 40 years.

This week it froze home power cap gears at £2,500 a year for the next two years to protect consumers from rising energy costs. She also pledged to focus on “raising the pie” rather than redistributing income to rebuild the economy.

The survey was based on more than 6,200 responses collected between September 16 and October 31 across Great Britain.

The survey found that 49 percent of people believe the government should redistribute income from the well-off to those with fewer resources — a 10 percentage point increase from 2019 and the highest level since 1994.

Support for more intervention reflects a shift in national views of welfare. More than two-thirds believe that ordinary workers are not getting their fair share of the country’s wealth – the largest proportion since 1991 and an increase of ten percentage points since 2019.

The annual Public Attitudes Survey took perspectives on a range of topics. Most people preferred the introduction of “proportional representation” – a voting system in which candidates win seats based on the percentage of votes cast – rather than keeping the “first job”.

Public satisfaction with the health service has fallen to its lowest level in 25 years, with a quarter of people reporting not getting the medical treatment they need in the past year.

The report also found that support in Scotland for Scottish independence and in Northern Ireland for Irish reunification has increased in recent years.

Sir John Curtis, senior researcher at NatCen, said the findings suggest “why Britain may appear divided, turbulent and ‘shattered'”.

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