‘Two-thirds of Britons say have no clout in UK laws’
A new poll in the UK shows its democracy is faltering to deliver since as many as two-thirds of Britons believe they have barely any or no power at all over government laws, taxes and spending.
According to the ‘People and Power’ survey published by The Independent on Sunday, most citizens feel they have too little say in a country that is too centralized. They think the UK voting system is unfair, its House of Lords is undemocratic and people struggle to see the benefits of Britain’s membership in the European Union.
The “People and Power” survey carried out this month by Opinium finds that two-thirds of people (67 percent) feel they have hardly any influence or no influence at all over decisions on laws, taxes, public spending and planning, the British daily reported.
More than half (59 percent) say tax and spending decisions should be taken below the UK-wide level: 21 percent said they should be decided by England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland separately; 31 percent said at city or county-level, and 7 percent by the village, small town or “few streets” of a city, it added.
Meanwhile, most people in England support English devolution: 28 percent want an English parliament, 15 percent want English regional assemblies and 12 percent want power devolved to city-regions such as Greater Manchester. Only 22 percent want to keep things as they are, although 21 per cent say they do not know.
The findings are based on an online survey of 2,147 UK adults carried out between 21-25 August 2015. Results have been weighted to be representative of age, sex, region, working status, social grade and general election vote.
Now Social Activist Geoff Dexter says people are feeling disillusioned as they observe their country’s decisions are mostly made by a ruling class of ‘elites.’
The latest survey was carried out before last week’s announcement of new life peers, but findings reveal that 52 percent say “people who decide our laws should always be elected” and only 28 percent say it is “better to have the experience and knowledge” of the current House of Lords.
It also shows the scale of people’s disillusionment with the voting system after the general election, in which the Conservatives won a majority in the House of Commons on just 37 percent of the UK vote. Only 26 percent agree that “the way votes translate to seats is democratic”: 39 percent disagree. A majority (52 percent) agree that the voting system “worked in the old days” but is “out of date.”