More than half of Scots believe the country is “moving in the wrong direction” amid the cost-of-living crisis, according to a poll.
In a survey called Understanding Scotland, which interviewed more than 2,000 adults living north of the border in May, 47% of respondents said the cost of living was a top concern.
This proportion has more than doubled since September, corresponding with the rise in inflation.
More than half of respondents – 53% – said Scotland was “moving in the wrong direction”.
Concern over rising prices was high across the working-age population, regardless of employment status and social class.
The survey showed this concern was particularly pronounced among younger people, in households with children, and in urban areas – particularly Glasgow.
It was less of a concern among older and retired respondents.
Other key priorities for the Scottish population included healthcare and tackling poverty and inequality.
Understanding Scotland – the regular tracker of Scotland’s priorities – also found that the Covid-19 pandemic had fallen sharply in the minds of Scots, with only 4% citing it as a top concern.
Constitutional and economic debates have also fallen in importance since September, with fewer than one in five deeming them key issues.
Respondents in more deprived communities also reported concerns about housing, jobs and poverty, while those in more affluent areas were more likely to prioritise healthcare, the economy and education.
Mark Diffley, director of Diffley Partnership, which is responsible for the Understanding Scotland survey, said: “These findings point to near-universal concern over the cost-of-living crisis.
“While the public appears to have largely moved on from the pandemic, this is not giving way to any evident optimism about Scotland’s future or direction of travel.”
Andrew Wilson, founding partner of Charlotte Street Partners, which also helped conduct the survey, said the findings should create “a sense of urgency” to deal with the cost of living.
“Choices must be made now to address the concerns that this study shows are crying out for attention,” he added.
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