Social and political attitudes of people on low incomes: 2017 report

Document type
Taylor, Eleanor; Saunders, Charlotte; Toomse-Smith, Mari
Date of publication
2 October 2017
Social Policy, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion, Health Services, Employment
Social welfare
Material type

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This 2017 report expands on a report published last year that explores the issues that most concern people on low incomes, how they perceive politics and how in control they feel of their lives.


  • Money or debt is the most commonly selected concern for people in the lowest income group (45%). The next most common concerns are physical health (38%), caring for someone (30%), housing (30%) and immigration (30%).
  • Almost a quarter (24%) of people in the lowest income group do not support any political party; this is true of just 6% among the highest income group.
  • Overall, two-thirds (65%) support government responsibility for reducing income differences between the rich and poor.
  • All income groups are in agreement that the government should provide health care (96%) and a decent standard of living for the old (93%).
  • However, those in the poorest group are much more likely than those in the richest group to say that government should provide a job for everyone who wants one (62% vs 34%) and a decent standard of living for the unemployed (65% vs 47%.)

This analysis uses a wide range of measures collected as part of British Social Attitudes survey.

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