British society divided on social values but majority back tax hikes to pay for cost of living help

British society is divided on many social issues but the majority reject the government’s policy of tax cuts, according to a survey.

Britons disagree on issues from Scottish independence to proportional representation in elections but most agree that higher taxes should fund extra help for households through the cost of living crisis.

The National Centre of Social Research (NatCen) interviewed 6,250 people in Britain between September and October last year for its 39th annual British Social Attitudes report.

It showed 52% were behind raising taxes and spending more on health, education and social benefits.

As many as 46% of Conservative voters and 61% of Labour supported tax hikes.

And the majority would back government intervention similar to that seen during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the economy, as concerns mount over social inequality.

The survey pointed to fears over inequality increasing since the pandemic – with almost half (49%) calling for money to be redistributed to those who are less wealthy, a figure up 10% since 2019.

There were relatively few differences in economic values between northern and southern England – despite the government’s levelling up agenda highlighting regional inequalities.

But the attitude of people outside London is in marked contrast with those living in the capital, who are more pro-welfare and socially liberal.

Some 37% of people in the north expressed pro-welfare views compared to 35% in the south.

In London, this figure