- Concern with the NHS at the highest level since 2002
- Highest ever recorded level of concern with the EU/Brexit
- Worry about the economy hits a nine-year low
The February 2017 Ipsos MORI/Economist Issues Index reveals the shifting focus of public opinion; over half of the British public (52%) now see the NHS as one of the biggest issues facing Britain, a further increase since January and the highest level of concern since June 2002. At the same time, concern with the economy has dropped to pre-crash levels, with 19% seeing it as a big issue – the lowest level since February 2008.
With the bill authorising Theresa May to initiate Brexit currently before the House of Lords, the proportion of the public who see the EU/Brexit as one of the biggest issues facing the country is also rising. This month 45% cite it as an issue – a four percentage point rise from last month and the highest level ever recorded since the survey series started in September 1974.
As in previous months, the EU/Brexit is considered the single biggest issue facing Britain by a substantial margin – almost three in ten (29%) say it is the biggest issue, compared to 18% for the NHS.
Concern with the NHS this month is ten percentage points higher amongst Conservative party supporters than it is amongst Labour party supporters (62% vs 52%), and they are also more likely to be concerned about the other issues in the top three overall – EU/Brexit (50% compared to 43%) and immigration (38% vs 23%).
These are also the key issues for Labour supporters, and this group is more likely than Conservative supporters to see housing, poverty/inequality and unemployment as a big issue facing the country.
Technical note Ipsos MORI's Issues Index is conducted monthly and provides an overview of the key issues concerning the country. Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 980 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. The questions are spontaneous - i.e. respondents are not prompted with any answers. Ipsos MORI's Capibus vehicle was used for this survey. Interviews were conducted face-to-face in-home between 10 and 23 February 2017 at 166 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.
Exploring the barriers and enablers to becoming compliant with Making Tax Digital for VAT
Ipsos MORI was commissioned by HMRC to carry out qualitative research with mandated businesses that had not yet signed up to Making Tax Digital for VAT to explore barriers and enablers to support sign up. Research also tested messages to encourage compliance.