Social and political attitudes of people on low incomes
Published: December 2016
This report explores how people on low incomes perceive politics, how far they feel they can control or influence the impact of politics and policy on their lives, and provides a platform for them to speak out on the issues that most concern them.
We have conducted this research on behalf of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
- It is clear that people on low incomes have attitudes to politics and public policy
that are broadly in line with the wider population, a finding that may be surprising
given how entrenched inequality is in our society, and how much the impact of
political decisions can vary for higher and lower income communities.
- Trust in politicians and the political system is low and falling, but interest in
politics is rising slowly. Traditional party loyalties appear to be holding, as are
longstanding differences in the way people on low incomes perceive welfare and
- Importantly, people on low incomes feel less in control of their lives and have less
faith in politicians to act in the national interest.
- Immigration and concerns about its impact on public services and on culture emerged as a powerful and unifying theme.
This report draws on three complementary projects: