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MAJORITY FEAR THEY WILL BE WORSE OFF AFTER TOMORROW’S BUDGET

Ahead of Chancellor Osborne’s Budget announcement, the latest Index poll results conducted by ComRes and to be broadcast on ITV News at Ten tonight, reveal that nearly two thirds of the public (64%) believe they will be worse off after tomorrow’s Budget and 57% of people disagree that their personal financial situation is generally heading in the right direction. This is the highest percentage since the Index began in October 2010.

61% disagree that the Government is in touch with the economic needs of the British public and unsurprisingly, 59% agree that they expect the Government's Budget to look after the rich more than it will look after the poor.

52% disagree that the Government has got the right balance between spending cuts and promoting economic growth and the same percentage (52%) disagree that the Budget will be in the best interests of the British public.

In fact, just one in five (20%) believe that the Chancellor understands the financial concerns of ordinary people in Britain, with 58% who disagree and 23% who are not sure. Three in four (76%) are having to seriously look at all areas of family spending to see what can be cut and where.

Four in five support the idea of increasing the threshold for income tax to £10,000 (81%) or introducing a special tax on large bonuses (80%). Three in five support an above-inflation increase in tax on tobacco (60%) and 55% support the introduction of a tax on assets such as a tax on expensive houses.

An overwhelming majority of the public are likely to oppose a rise in tax on petrol (88%), while 59% oppose the idea that the Government will continue to pay child benefit to parents earning a salary of more than £42,000.

Asked whether the public trust leading politicians to see the country through this difficult economic situation, belief in George Osborne has dropped from 32% in October 2010 to just 25% this week. Similarly, David Cameron fares no better. When the Index began, 43% trusted him to get us through the tough times, now the figure has dropped to 36%. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been hit too – 34% trusted him to get us through this economic situation before. Now the figure is just 18%. Results show that the Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband is not trusted either. His score has dropped from 21% in October 2010 to 16% this week.

ComRes interviewed 2057 GB adults online between 16th and 18th March 2012.  Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults.  ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.