Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Trust and honesty

The Committee on Standards in Public Life has apparently found that trust in government ministers has fallen to a fresh low. 78% of people thinking all or most ministers do not tell the truth, compared to only 73% thinking they were all liars in 2006 and 72% in 2004.

The survey revealed that 62% of the public believe the majority of ministers use their power for personal gain, a fall from only 51% thinking politicians were only in it for themselves two years ago. Four out of five members of the public now believe all or most ministers are out of touch with what the general public think. Voters also believe that ministers are now more likely to take bribes, not to set a good example for others in their private lives, are less competent in their jobs and do not use public money as wisely.

The only thing that surprises me is that anyone is surprised by these findings after MPs recently decided against reforming their expenses system and retained a £23,000-a-year second home allowance.

The other area where we distrust our politicians is over paying family members with public funds to do little or no real work.

Interestingly the study also found 94 per cent of people have trust in GPs, even after the Harold Shipman case. This compares top only 26 per cent trusting their MPs, only slightly more than the 21 per cent who believe in estate agents.

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