Bridges to a new social contract

Policy briefing

  • Economics and Finance
  • Employment

Values matter.

Individual policies are important, but policymakers must also bridge the ‘cultural values gap’ and frame the policies for a new social contract in a modern and inclusive vision of British identity.

We commissioned Populus to poll 2,000 adults in Great Britain on the future of work and welfare, to find areas of broad political consensus:

  • Among the 48% of the British public who say they “have a lot of respect for British values”, 39% think the Conservatives best represent their views, compared to 22% for Labour.
  • 43% of those who think it's a good thing that Britain is getting more diverse think Labour best represents their values, compared to 15% to the Conservatives.
  • Labour leads among those who say 'it's important that my friends/neighbours see me as successful' with 35%, compared to 23% of Conservatives.

The poll also looked at what the Chancellor should do in the short-term to aid the recovery:

  • 66% support continuing the furlough scheme in limited sectors – while just 39% support continuing the full scheme indefinitely throughout the pandemic.
  • 64% think that the government should guarantee a job or training for the under-25s, including 62% of Conservatives and 72% of Labour supporters, including 68% of 18-24 year-olds and 68% of those over-65.
  • Likewise, 64% support housing benefits to cover the whole of a person’s mortgage or rent, to prevent a wave of evictions and/or repossessions. Younger groups are more in favour.
  • 40% would support increasing income tax, national insurance and/or VAT to decrease the national debt. 

Download the policy briefing: Bridges to a new social contract (pdf)

pdf 392.3 KB

Related articles

  • A toolkit for workplace wellbeing


    Kevin Daniels Helen Fitzhugh

    Many employers realise wellbeing in the workplace promotes good mental health AND productivity, but don’t know where to begin. Kevin Daniels and Helen Fitzhugh talk about a new, free, online toolkit to get them started

  • Announcing the Pupil Design Award winners 2022


    Hannah Breeze Aidan Daly (Researcher)

    Read about the winners of the RSA Pupil Design Awards 2021 – 2022. The teams have provided us with a range of innovative ideas that tackle challenges in the food, education and built-environment systems.

  • RSA CEO Andy Haldane speaks at the Bradford Literature Festival

    Fellowship news

    RSA chief exec Andy Haldane gave the inaugural Bradford Literature Festival Culture Sector Lecture at the University of Bradford on Friday 24 June 2022.