Osborne wins backing of business as Labour slumps

George Osborne has won the confidence of a majority of businessmen but they are losing faith in Labour and the Liberal Democrats, according to a survey for The Independent.

The ComRes poll of more than 130 business leaders paints a picture of an economy with sluggish growth ahead of the Budget. Only 25 per cent of those surveyed say their own sector is growing while more (29 per cent) say it is not.

It emerged yesterday that the Chancellor will announce a crackdown on tax avoidance, doubling to £4bn the amount of revenue to be raised over the next four years. It will include measures to prevent the rich escaping tax through "disguised remuneration" schemes such as offshore trusts used to top up their pensions. Air passenger duty will be extended to private planes.

According to ComRes, 57 per cent of businessmen are confident in the Chancellor's abilities, while David Cameron enjoys a 68 per cent rating. In contrast, only 16 per cent have confidence in Ed Miliband, the Labour leader. The scores of Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, and Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, have fallen sharply since the polling company's previous survey of businessmen in December. Confidence in Mr Clegg has dropped from 55 to 34 per cent and in Mr Cable from 62 to 48 per cent.

Two out of three of those polled believe Mr Osborne understands business (65 per cent) and has the right ideas about how to manage the British economy (64 per cent).

Mr Miliband's poor rating amongst businessmen comes despite his party's lead over the Conservatives in surveys of the general public. According to the latest "poll of polls" for The Independent, Labour is on 41 per cent (down one point on the previous month); the Tories on 35 per cent (unchanged); the Liberal Democrats on 13 per cent (up one point) and other parties on 11 per cent (unchanged).

However, the headline figures mask doubts about Labour on the economy. John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, who compiled the "poll of polls," said the party is struggling to make an impact on the public.

"Labour's lead in the polls is primarily the product of disenchantment among many Lib Dem voters with decisions made by the Coalition, and does not signify a restoration of public confidence in Labour's abilities,"he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
Sport
Danny Cipriani of England breaks clear to score his second try
rugby
Life and Style
New research says leaving your desk can help you to avoid serious illness
health
Arts and Entertainment
tvSPOILER ALERT: Like a mash-up of 28 Days Later, Braveheart, The Killing and Lord of the Rings, this GoT episode was a belter
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Manager / CAD Engineer

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is the UK subsidia...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Trainee

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Cloud ERP Solution Provide...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral