Have your say: What is the most important issue for the government after the pandemic?

Ellen Manning
·2-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the opening session of the virtual US Leaders Summit on Climate from the Downing Street Briefing Room on April 22, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Tallis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britons were asked by YouGov to name the priorities for the government after the pandemic, including climate change, the economy and health. (Getty)

The economy is the most pressing issue facing the government after the pandemic ends, according to nearly two thirds of Brits. 

A YouGov/The Times poll revealed that 64% of people view the economy as the top issue the government needs to address, followed by unemployment (41%) and health (40%).

The environment and climate change ranked fourth in the list, followed by education, then immigration and asylum, then crime. 

Further down the list were issues including: tax, housing, welfare benefits, family life and childcare, defence and security, pensions, and transport. 

Respondents to the poll were asked: "Looking forward to when the coronavirus outbreak is over, what do you think are the most important issues facing the government?".

The poll looked at how important climate change is to Britons, coinciding with Earth Day.

It found that only a quarter of Brits (26%) say the issue is among the top three most pressing issues facing the government after the pandemic ends.

There is a difference in view when it comes to Tory and Labour voters, with only one in six (16%) of the former saying the environment and climate change are among the government’s biggest challenges, compared to 40% of the latter.

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The YouGov poll asked Britons what the three most pressing issues are for the government after the pandemic. (YouGov)
The YouGov poll asked Britons what the three most pressing issues are for the government after the pandemic. (YouGov)

The poll suggested that the public overwhelmingly believe climate change results from human activity (75%) rather than from something else (11%) or that it doesn’t exist (3%).

It also found that over two fifths of Britons (45%) say the government’s most important environmental problem to address is reducing the use of plastics.

Reducing the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses to help stop temperatures from rising too rapidly, was the second most popular choice at 39%.

Ahead of the UK hosting the UN climate conference COP26 this autumn, the poll also suggested that the British public have more faith in international leaders than Boris Johnson to make the right decisions on climate change.

Only a third (35%) say they trust Johnson to make the right decisions on the issue, while 54% do not. 

Britons have more faith in the American president Joe Biden, at 42% vs 35%, and German chancellor Angela Merkel, at 39% to 35%.

Watch: Top tips for helping the environment on a tight budget