Only a quarter of people think the Government's spending cuts are fair, amid growing concern that the most vulnerable sections of society are not being protected.
Almost seven in 10 people expect to be worse off as a result of the cuts, of which 56 per cent are Tory voters, according to the IoS/ComRes economic tracker. Two-thirds of people think the cuts will be felt more by the poor than by wealthier households, up 7 points since November.
The Treasury this weekend delayed plans to axe 500 specialist debt advisers, and will pledge £27m to keep the Financial Inclusion Fund open for a year. Ken Clarke, the Justice Secretary, told The Daily Telegraph: "I don't think Middle England has quite taken on board the scale of the problem."
In the BBC's Politics Show North West, to be broadcast today, Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor, will accuse David Cameron of returning Britain to the 1980s, with "deep cuts and trouble in the streets".