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More parents ready for tax rise

Two-thirds of the British public want more spent on education compared to a half 10 years ago. The 13th report on British social attitudes found that most of them were prepared to face higher taxes to make this happen.

And parents paying for private education were even more likely to see education spending as a top priority, "suggesting perhaps that many of them are somewhat reluctant consumers and would prefer to use an improved state sector", say the authors of the report, published yesterday.

Just over half the sample thought that smoking cannabis should be illegal, compared with 82 per cent in 1983. Among the under-25s, only around a third thought it should be illegal, but they took a sterner view of heroin, with the vast majority wanting it to remain outlawed.

The authors found that the young and people with degrees were the most permissive about drugs, with Londoners more liberal than average.

The workforce has not yet adapted to the increasingly flexible labour market, notes the report. Unemployed people are even less willing than they were 13 years ago to take on what they regard as an unacceptable job.

Both employees and the unemployed are slightly more reluctant to retrain to take on a new job than they were then (49 per cent now compared with 45 per cent in 1983).

British Social Attitudes, the 13th report, Dartmouth Publishing, Gower House, Croft Road, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 3HR, Pounds 25, plus Pounds 3.50 package and posting.

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