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Budget 2012: 50p Tax Should Remain, Say Majority Of Voters In ComRes Poll

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Most voters are against scrapping the 50p tax rate for top earners - including half of Tory supporters, a poll suggested just days before George Osborne unveils his annual Budget.

The findings of the survey, by ComRes for the Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror, underline the scale of the political gamble being considered by the Chancellor.

Mr Osborne is reported to have accepted demands from Tory backbenchers for the change - which will put cash in the pocket of those earning £150,000-plus salaries.

But it is opposed by 58% of the voters polled, compared with 21% in favour.

Most vehemently hostile are Liberal Democrat supporters, 70% of whom said they wanted it to stay despite the party leadership accepting the change in return for extra taxes on wealth.

While they do not want them for the wealthiest, however, the survey showed voters are increasingly keen for the Chancellor to make tax cuts a priority on Wednesday.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) do not believe the Government is doing enough to get the economy going and public trust in Mr Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron to run the economy has dropped by a point since November to 29%.

They will be encouraged politically however that, despite the public wranglings over tax breaks for high earners, confidence in their Labour rivals has plunged significantly faster.

Only 15% back Ed Miliband and shadow chancellor Ed Balls, six points down.

The drop in confidence did not prevent Labour moving back into an overall lead on voting preferences, gaining two points on a similar poll last month to stand at 40% with the Tories down two at 37% and the Lib Dems unchanged at 10%.

ComRes interviewed 2,010 adults online between March 14 and 16.

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