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What do People want, need and expect from public services?
Maintaining a focus on citizens has been challenging in an environment dominated by fiscal crisis and pressure for cuts and quick fixes. Yet without properly understanding what the public want and value, and how they relate to today’s services, it will be impossible to design services for tomorrow that fit the lives they live, and develop the capabilities they need to fulfil their aspirations.
This report is part of our ongoing work to articulate a citizen-centric vision for public services. In it, Ipsos MORI present their data on public attitudes and aspirations, providing a comprehensive overview of the state of current public opinion.
Their evidence should be of interest to anyone concerned about the meaning and impact of public services today, and their democratic reform in the future. It shows that the public:
• want public services to be based on notions of the public good, rather than just what’s good for me;
• understand the public good largely in terms of universalism, with equality of access to benefits;
• are prepared, with prompting, to consider types of equality that relate to outcomes rather than access;
• see more potential in playing a strong adult role in public service development locally rather than nationally; and • struggle to see a compelling or urgent case for reforming public services to cope with economic pressures and social changes, and divide evenly on whether to support service cuts or tax rises.
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