Osborne faces a wall of scepticism ahead of budget

Chancellor George Osborne Photo: ITV News

Away from the frenzied guessing game of what will actually be in the Budget tomorrow, it's worth just reflecting for a moment on how the measures are actually likely to be received.

The latest polling in the ITV News Index, which has been tracking the public's mood for more than a year now, suggests that whatever the Chancellor George Osborne announces it is likely to be greeted with more than a little scepticism.

Nearly two thirds of the public believe that the Chancellor will make them worse off. What is telling is that the highest number of people believe their own finances are detoriorating since we started tracking public sentiment.

Gladstone's old Budget box Credit: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Fears for their own household budgets seem to be becoming more acute. That's despite the fact that inflation is starting to ease off and some experts are beginning to whisper about green shoots appearing.

However Mr Osborne tries to play the politics of his announcements, and we will hear plenty of his desire to help lower and middle earners, the ITV News Index shows starkly that the vast majority of the public just don't buy it. Only one in five believe that the Chancellor understands the financial fears of ordinary people.

George Osborne and David Cameron campaigning on a pro-business pitch at the British Museum in 2010 Credit: SR

Belief in his big decisions is dropping too: In October 2010, 32 per cent of people trusted him to steer the economy through. That's now down to just 25 per cent. It's dropped for the Prime Minister too, but the fall in trust is, perhaps not surprisingly, steepest for the Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg - down from 34 per cent to just 18 per cent.

Trust in Coalition politicians to steer us through the current economic situation, October 2010 to March 2012:

  • Chancellor George Osborne - 32% down to 25%
  • Prime Minister David Cameron - 43% down to 36%
  • Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg - 34% down to 18%
  • Labour Leader Ed Miliband - 21% down to 16%

There's lots more interesting detail on what the public makes of the proposed measures in the Budget in the ITV News Index - have a look here.

But while tomorrow experts and politicians will pull together the complete picture of what the Budget means, it's clear that many of the public are not in the mood to welcome very much.

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