The British Social Attitudes Report found more people in the UK had sympathy for those out of work and claiming benefits in 2012 than they did in 2011, while an increased number believed the Government should cut less public services and spend more on state benefits.

Meanwhile in the Six Counties another survey by Manpower finds employment prospects have dropped yet again. However prospects have not been sustained and, whilst there are jobs around, sentiment is not as positive as it was,” it said.

“Employers in Northern Ireland have not reported a positive outlook at any point in the last year.” .