A STUDY carried out before the pandemic hit Scotland found people trust Holyrood significantly more than Westminster when it comes to working in the country’s best interests.

The chief statistician published the survey, carried out by independent research group ScotCen Social Research between August 2019 and March 2020, showing big differences in attitudes towards the UK and Scottish parliaments.

The survey found that four times as many people (61%) trust the Scottish Government to work in Scotland’s best interests, as trust the UK Government to do so.

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The survey, which has been carried out almost annually since 1999, has found consistently higher levels of trust in the Scottish Government than Westminster since it launched.

The study found views were evenly split when it came to who has the most influence over how Scotland is run, with 40% believing the Scottish Government does as opposed to 42% believing the UK Government does.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) think Holyrood should have the most influence over the running of the country compared to 15% who say the same about Westminster.

More people now believe the Scottish Government is good at listening to the public before making decisions and gives ordinary people a say in how the country is governed. The proportions of people agreeing with these statements have increased by 19 and 25 percentage points since 2004.

The study also found that over half of people would support an increase in taxes in order for more to be spent on health, education and social benefits. Just 4% felt taxation and spending should be reduced.

Constitution Secretary Mike Russell said: "We are currently dealing with the biggest crisis our country has faced since wartime so, even though these data were collected before lockdown, it is heartening to see public trust in the Scottish Government remain so high.

"Throughout the pandemic we have recognised the importance of maintaining public trust and confidence in government which has been absolutely vital in allowing us to control the virus effectively. We will strive to do all we can to maintain and deliver upon this trust and see the country through this challenging period."

He added: "In recent years we have seen public trust in the UK Government continue to fall, with trust now at its lowest since the survey began 20 years ago. It is clear that the Scottish people have lost patience with the Westminster government over their continued failures on Brexit and the economy."

The survey results are based on face-to-face interviews with 1022 adults aged over 16.