MONDAY 10 FEB 2020 4:50 PM


The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, a worldwide credibility survey conducted by global communications firm Edelman, revealed that the UK public is the least trusting among the populations of the 28 participant countries, second only to Russia’s. Britain’s position is reflected by the fact that 57% of the surveyors considered the system to be broken and failing them.

The barometer surveys more than 34,000 respondents across 28 countries, measuring trust across different institutions, sectors and geographies. The survey showed that Brits are disillusioned with the government and the notions of capitalism and democracy.  Three in five Britons said they are losing faith in democracy as an effective form of government and 53% believe that capitalism does more harm than good.

According to Amber Rudd, former Conservative MP and home secretary, only the prime minister can bring back the public’s trust in institutions.

“We need our prime minister, Boris Johnson, to step up to the challenge to rebuilding that trust. He can do that in his language, in his action and in his determination,” she says.

The Trust Barometer does however show that there are some common denominators that unite the UK public, such as the priorities the country faces. Britons of all demographics agree that the most pressing concerns they face are healthcare, tackling crime and improving the standard of living.

Although valued as more competent and ethical than government institutions and media, businesses are also mistrusted by the British public. In fact, 79% of the public believes that it is the duty of business to pay decent wages, yet only a third trust that businesses will do so. The solution, according to the survey, is a partnership between business and institutions. Three in four Britons agree that government and business should work together to solve social issues

The industry which suffered the largest drop of trust across all 15 industries surveyed, falling by four points, is the same one that had the greatest boom last year, tech. The survey explored how the British public feels about all aspects of the industry, from the rise of use in social media and fake news to automation and technology regulation. It found that 72% of the public thinks the government isn’t well equipped at regulating technology effectively, 67% question if what they see on social media is true and 75% fears job displacement from automation.




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