Budget will benefit richest: Survey

Wharfedale Observer: Chancellor George Osborne's Budget is expected to benefit the wealthy most, according to a poll Chancellor George Osborne's Budget is expected to benefit the wealthy most, according to a poll

Half the British public believe the richest will benefit most from the Budget, according to a new poll.

Chancellor George Osborne has insisted the "bulk" of the measures in his statement will be targeted at working people on low and middle incomes but reports suggest he will also slash the 50p top rate of income tax on earners over £150,000.

Just 17% of voters expect those earning the least to reap the most rewards while 50% believe the wealthy will come out best, the research found.

The Ipsos Mori pre-Budget political monitor for the Evening Standard also found 56% of adults think the worst is yet to come on the economy.

Confidence in the Government's austerity measures has also plummeted since the Coalition took power. In June 2010 61% of adults believed its strategy would improve the economy but that has fallen to 46%.

Despite voter scepticism over who will benefit, Mr Osborne, on 36%, remains neck and neck with his opposite number Ed Balls, on 35%, over who would make the most capable Chancellor.

David Cameron's personal rating, a net approval of minus 11, remains the same as February. The Prime Minister's popularity still exceeds his deputy, Nick Clegg, who languishes on minus 27, despite a five point boost since last month.

Labour leader Ed Miliband's approval has risen by by seven points this month, taking him to minus 18.

Bobby Duffy, Ipsos Mori Social Research Institute managing director, said: "There are clear danger signs in the poll for the Government - particularly the continued decline in the public's belief that the Government's policies will be good for the economy in the long-term.

"But Labour should be more worried. They are not making any significant headway - even with the cuts biting, economic growth sluggish and ahead of a budget that the public overwhelmingly expect to benefit the rich."

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