Minister for Finance and Public Services Tom McCabe said:
"The Executive is making a difference to the lives of the people of Scotland. The policies we are putting in place in health, education, crime, transport and jobs and the emphasis we place on growing the economy are all helping to build a better Scotland.
"It is crucial our policies are based on sound evidence and research and that is why we commission these annual research reports.
"We are not complacent - this research clearly signals there is still much to be done and people have high aspirations. We share that ambition and want to step up the pace of delivery and reform. We will use this research to inform the evolution and development of our policies."
Some of the findings are nevertheless devastating. From the core findings (here):
When asked whether they thought the Scottish Parliament was giving ordinary people more or less say in how Scotland was governed just over a third (37%) said that it had given people 'more say'. Fifty-five percent said it was 'making no difference', while only 5% thought it was giving ordinary people 'less say'...
More people think the Scottish Executive is good at listening to people's views before taking decisions than thinks the same about the UK government. Thirty-four percent thought the Scottish Executive was 'very' or 'quite' good at listening compared with 16% for the UK government. However, the proportion of people who thought that the Executive was good at listening (34%) was outweighed by the proportion who thought it was 'not very good' or 'not at all good' at listening (54%).
So, 6 years after devolution (the survey relates to 2005), more than half the population think that the Scottish Parliament is making no difference in terms of the influence wielded by ordinary people. Similarly, more than half the people think that the Executive does not listen to people's views. I think that if I were a politician I would be more than slightly concerned, perhaps even ashamed.
On the other hand,
only 32% correctly identified that the Scottish Executive is not just another name for the Scottish Parliament.
So perhaps it is not all the fault of the politicians...