22/04/2012 02:52 BST | Updated 21/06/2012 06:12 BST

Poll Shows Cameron And Osborne's Reputation Suffering After Budget

David Cameron and George Osborne's reputation for economic competence has taken a major hit in the wake of the Budget, according to a poll.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor enjoyed a net 24 point advantage over Labour counterparts Ed Miliband and Ed Balls before the financial package.

But research by ComRes for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror suggests that has now been slashed to just four. Overall the poll put Labour on 40%, ahead of the Tories on 34% and Liberal Democrats on 11%.

Some 25% said they trusted Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne to make the right decisions on the economy, while 54% did not. The net score of -29 was down from -20 before the Budget last month.

The ratings for Mr Miliband and Mr Ball, on the other hand, have improved from -44 to -33 this month.

Just over a quarter of those quizzed said the Budget measures were generally fair, compared to 54% who thought the opposite. Older voters were said to be most critical, indicating that the 'granny tax' row has harmed the Conservatives.

The researchers also asked whether the coalition had changed Britain for the better over the past two years, with a fifth saying the country had improved and 47% insisting it had got worse.

The poll comes as George Osborne faces fierce criticism from some of his own Tory backbenchers, after he loaned a further £10bn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The level of lending is such that he doesn't need to seek approval from Parliament, under the terms of a vote passed in the Commons last year.