How is fairness currently defined?
- We worked with Opinium Research on a public engagement programme. The first stage brought together a group of 23 citizens in a three-day online community. This included a wide range of tasks including open discussions, video diaries and reactions to stimuli.
- We took a robust and representative snapshot of the nation, polling over 4,000 citizens covering all major demographic, regional, ethnic and political groups.
- Throughout this research, we have shared our findings and thinking with key groups of experts, including from government, business, civil society and our own people. We invited a group of experts to take part in our online community by reviewing the findings halfway through the tasks and we hosted two events with the Institute for Government to explore how government could improve its spending decisions.
What does fairness mean to the public?
- The majority of our survey respondents believe that fairness is about making sure that everyone is given an equal opportunity to achieve, so that everyone gets what they deserve.
- We found that while perceptions of fairness vary widely across the different regions of the UK, only 30% of our survey respondents agree that British society as a whole is fair. This presents a major challenge to government.
- Using the capability of Strategy&, PwC's global strategy house, we have analysed the findings of this research to lay out practical steps towards building a fair and inclusive future for the UK.
What to do about this?
A national mission
- Addressing these fault lines in UK society is clearly a major challenge but it’s critical that we do so. If the UK is to fulfil its potential in the world, whatever our future relationship with the EU might look like, we need to ensure that everyone can feel heard.
- Delivering on an agenda of collective wellbeing will require a wholesale transformation of the way the state works – the way money is invested and spent to drive inclusive growth, the way services are designed to solve real problems, and the way the state relates to citizens.
- To help put the public’s priorities at the heart of these processes, we propose applying the five tests of fairness to new proposals and policies.
A framework for fairness
Five tests to design public policy in a way that would build a fairer future
- Provide for fundamental needs, prioritising the vulnerable and those in greatest need
- Help people earn a decent living and prepare for the future world of work
- Close the opportunity gap that exists between places
- Give individuals more control over the services they access
- Empower communities to shape the places they live