MPs set to debate Budget details

George OsborneMPs are to drill down into the detail of the Budget after George Osborne's statement for an "aspiration nation".

Detailed debate on a raft of measures to kick-start growth, including ploughing billions into boosting home ownership, amid gloomy economic forecasts will resume in the Commons as polling showed a mixed response from voters.

Research for consumer group Which? carried out immediately after the Budget found 89% of voters backed the rise in the personal tax allowance to £10,000 and 87% supported moves to scrap the fuel duty rise.

But the survey found a third of the public now feels less confident about the prospects for the economy over the coming year while 28% are less confident about their personal finances. The poll also shows 59% believe the Government should rethink its economic plan and 44% expect their personal finances to worsen in the next 12 months.

Hours after the Chancellor sat down peers inflicted a major defeat on the Government over its "shares for rights" plan, detailed in the Budget document, with former Civil Service head Lord O'Donnell linking the plans to slavery and Tory former Cabinet minister Lord Forsyth of Drumlean branding the plans "ill-thought through, confused and muddled".

Mr Osborne attempted to divert attention from the economic gloom as growth forecasts were slashed and official forecasters warned that deficit reduction had "stalled" with eye-catching give-aways. A penny has been knocked off the price of a pint of beer and September's planned 3p rise in fuel duty has been scrapped.

But the Chancellor put his strongest emphasis on measures to encourage jobs, home-ownership and small businesses. He brought a planned increase in income tax thresholds to £10,000 forward to 2014, which Tory aides said meant that everyone who paid the 10p tax rate under Labour will next year be taken out of the tax altogether.

Labour leader Ed Miliband attacked Mr Osborne as a "downgraded Chancellor" offering "more of the same - higher borrowing, lower growth".

Forecasts published by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) showed it had halved its prediction for GDP growth for this year from 1.2% to 0.6% and trimmed next year's forecast from 2% to 1.8%. And the independent body said that the decline in borrowing seen in the first years of the coalition Government "now appears to have stalled". The OBR predicted a small increase in GDP in the first quarter of this year, meaning that the UK will avoid an unprecedented triple-dip recession.

Public sector net borrowing forecasts were revised upwards in every year to 2017/18, adding a total of £55.7 billion to the amount the Chancellor is expecting to borrow over the next five years compared to his plans at the time of the December Autumn Statement. Debt will not fall as a share of national income until two years after Mr Osborne's original 2015 target and will peak at 85.6% of GDP (£1.58 trillion) in 2016/17, an increase of 6.4% on the previous forecasts.