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Independence ranks low in Scots' concerns

Feb. 16, 2013 at 12:24 AM   |   Comments

GLASGOW, Scotland, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Independence ranks relatively low as an issue for Scots, with only 25 percent naming it as one of their five top concerns, a poll released Friday indicated.

The survey by the Daily Record of Glasgow found 72 percent of respondents said the cost of living and paying their bills was one of their biggest worries. It was even more important for the middle-aged, with 80 percent of those age 45-to-55 putting the cost of living in the top five.

Healthcare was second, with 67 percent of all respondents, and 80 percent of retirees, listing it.

More than half, 56 percent, named jobs and employment. Almost 1-in-4 of those under 25 in Scotland are currently unemployed and 68 percent in that age group listed jobs as a top concern.

Seventy-three percent of those age 25-to-34 cited jobs and employment.

Education was fourth at 38 percent, including 44 percent of those with higher incomes and 34 percent of those with low incomes. In fifth place, 35 percent named taxes, followed by welfare and benefits at 34 percent and crime at 30 percent.

Scottish independence was eighth. More than half the unemployed, 54 percent, named independence as a major issue, as did 31 percent of Glasgow residents and 36 percent of men between ages 45-to-55.

The results suggest First Minister Alex Salmond needs to get Scottish voters excited about the prospective referendum, the Record said. They might also mean most Scots have made up their minds one way or the other and simply don't want to think about independence now.

The only other issues to crack 20 percent were immigration at 23 percent and housing at 21 percent. They were followed by Scotland's relationship to the European Union at 14 percent, military defense at 8 percent, and gay rights and religious freedom, tied at 6 percent.

The survey of 1,091 adults was carried out between Feb. 6 and Feb. 10. No margin of error was reported.

Topics: Alex Salmond
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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