Attitudes of people on low incomes

Social and political attitudes of people on low incomes


People on low incomes have distinct social and political views as well as everyday concerns.

The largest everyday worry faced by this group is money and debt, which is likely part of the reason why they are more supportive of government helping the unemployed and more likely to think that cutting benefits would damage too many lives.

Yet this does not lead to unequivocal support for higher social security spending and increasing benefits for the unemployed. Those on low incomes are more understanding of benefit fraud, but, like other groups, believe that the government should clamp down on it.

These distinct views do not translate into high political engagement around these or other issues. Instead the low income group is politically marginalised, showing less interest and understanding of politics and is more likely to feel that no political party represents their views.

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Current concerns or worries of lowest income group


Support of political party, by income group


Author: Eleanor Taylor, Charlotte Saunders, Mari Toomse-Smith, The National Centre for Social Research