MP trust ‘declines over distance’

Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster

Voters’ trust in Westminster politicians falls the further away from London they live, according to a new survey.

While almost a quarter of those questioned in the capital (23%) said they would trust politicians in Westminster to allocate spending within their region, the level fell to 19% in the East of England and 17% in the South, 15% in the Midlands, 14% in Scotland and the North of England, 13% in Wales and just 2% in Northern Ireland.

Levels of confidence in local politicians to make the right decisions were five times as high in Northern Ireland (10%) and more than twice as high in the North (30%), Scotland (33%), the Midlands (34%) and the East (41%).

Unveiling the survey as its annual conference opened in London, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (Cipfa) called for more devolution of spending and revenue-raising powers away from Westminster to the regions and nations of the UK.

Cipa chief executive Rob Whiteman said: “As trust ebbs away from Whitehall, politicians in Westminster urgently need to make sure that they are empowering and equipping local leaders with the both the means and the powers to ensure that devolution works for local communities.

“Westminster cannot just devolve the risk of spending reductions without also devolving the responsibility for raising revenue to meet local demand.”

:: Pollsters YouGov surveyed 2,002 people spread across the UK for Cipfa between March 13 and 16.