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Armed forces survey

A survey by the audit firm PwC has found increased fears around terrorist actions in the UK. Compared to last year, there was a 13 percentage point increase to 44 per cent in the number of people who consider organised terror to be the biggest threat facing the UK and the large majority [87 per cent] see the armed forces primary purpose as defending us from these kind of threats. A significant number [61 per cent] see it as important for UK to intervene in other countries if it increase security at home.

PwC’s annual Forces for Change survey of 2000 members of the public covers perceptions of the threats facing the UK and the value placed upon our armed forces. When asked whether they agree or disagree that having a nuclear deterrent contributes to the UK’s safety and stability, 48 per cent of respondents agree, compared to 20 per cent who disagree, and 32 per cent who did not express an opinion. However, the split between men and women shows that 57 per cent of men surveyed agree with the benefit of a nuclear deterrent compared to just 39 per cent of women. 41 per cent of women are undecided, compared to 24 per cent of men, indicating that more needs to be done to engage with the public and with female voters in particular on the overall value and benefit of the deterrent.

The survey found that a majority of people [80 per cent] value the social benefits of the forces as well – ranking natural disaster management, providing jobs and employment, and creating a highly skilled workforce as important additional responsibilities. In terms of trust in British institutions, the armed forces [65 per cent] are on a par with other highly trusted institutions, such as the NHS [67 per cent]. It’s not all good news – younger people, who make up much of the forces target recruitment pool, are much less likely to report positive sentiments.


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