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Citizens’ Pulse: Experiences of fairness in society and trust in many institutions has deteriorated

Government Communications Department
Publication date 22.9.2023 14.25 | Published in English on 25.9.2023 at 11.02
Press release

Experiences of fairness in society have declined to their lowest level since spring 2020 in the Citizens’ Pulse survey conducted in September. Currently, 64 per cent of the respondents consider society to be at least somewhat fair, compared with 75 per cent in June.

Confidence in the future is also at a slightly lower level than in the early part of the year. Stress and concerns about the ability to get by financially have increased. Stress experienced by young people, in particular, has clearly grown compared to the spring and summer, but also among the middle-aged and those over 60 years of age.

Trust in several institutions of society has fallen in the past Citizens’ Pulse surveys and is now at its lowest level since spring 2020. Trust in the central government administration and education system has declined the most in the early autumn. Trust in the Finnish Government and political parties also continued to decrease, while trust in the media, the police and the Defence Forces increased slightly compared to August.

“At a general level, Finnish people’s trust in the institutions of society remains broadly strong. However, the trend for healthcare service and the education system has been clearly falling for quite some time. It is also concerning that people with low incomes have significantly less trust in all actors in society than other groups of people,” says Juho Jyrkiäinen, Chief Specialist at the Prime Minister’s Office.

There is a clear difference between people with low and high incomes in the level of trust in the healthcare service, education system, Government and political parties, for example. 

Fewer people accept benefit cuts as a means to reduce state debt

Compared with the survey in August, the acceptability of benefit cuts among respondents has decreased. Fewer people than before are of the opinion that central government debt must be reduced regardless of cuts in benefits and wellbeing caused to citizens. Now 35 per cent of the respondents agree fully or to some extent with the statement, down from 42 per cent in August. 

Similarly, fewer people feel that social security cuts can be considered acceptable if they encourage people to accept work and increase employment.

The 48th round of the Citizens’ Pulse survey was conducted between 13 and 18 September 2023. The Citizens’ Pulse survey examines citizens’ opinions on current issues and government activities and asks about their mood and expectations for the future. Statistics Finland is responsible for collecting the survey data.

Inquiries: Juho Jyrkiäinen, Chief Specialist, Prime Minister’s Office, tel. +358 295 160 181