Support for English parliament rises

An England fan on his first trip to the new Wembley
An England fan on his first trip to the new Wembley

By staff

The English are increasingly convinced Scotland receives more than its fair share of government spending, new research revealed today.

Support for an English parliament is now at all-time high, the research by thinktank IPPR and social research institute NatCen suggests.

Based on previously unpublished data from NatCen's British Social Attitudes survey, the report found that 40% of people in England believe Scotland gets more than its fair share of government spending, compared to just 22% in 2003.

Twenty-nine per cent thought England should have its own parliament and, for the first time, less than half (49%) believe England's laws should still be made in parliament.

"It is too strong to speak as yet of a widespread English 'backlash'," warned Professor John Curtis, a research consultant to NatCen and the report's author.

"But the research does suggest there has been a marked growth in resentment about the level of funding that Scotland enjoys.

"Moreover this seems in part at least to be generating increased support for the idea that England should have its own parliament," he added.

"If these trends continue, then politicians may no longer be able safely to assume that England can be ignored in the devolution debate."

The researched seems to indicate that those who feel English rather than British are more susceptible to the view that Britain gets a raw deal from the devolution settlement.

A previous IPPR report into perceptions of the Union in Britain found only ten per cent of MPs backed the current arrangement of power.


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