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Are the Tory tax plans a good idea?

10:49 UK time, Monday, 29 March 2010

The Tories have announced plans to block some of next year's planned National Insurance rises and outlined how they will pay for the lost billions. What's your reaction?

Shadow chancellor George Osborne said the plan would benefit anyone earning up to £45,400, although the new rate would apply to higher earners. The planned rise in NI contributions for employers would also be scrapped under the Tory plans.

He said he had identified £6bn of savings that could be made by government departments in 2010.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne, said: "They [the Conservatives] have entirely lost sight of cutting the deficit."

Will these plans jeopardise cutting the deficit? Do you think you will be better off if these plans are introduced? How do you think these plans will be funded? Will the planned NI increases affect your business?

This debate has been closed. Thank you for sending your comments.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Excellent! Finally we have a party that puts hard-working people before benefits scroungers. Well done to the Tories for doing something for taxpayers.

    Anyone with a job must sick of having so much of their income being stolen from them by New Labour and then dished out to the benefits-for-life underclass that New Labour has bred over 13 years as a means of securing votes.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hmmm so, according to the tories the UK urgently needs to cut the debt and raise revenues, but a tax hike isn't needed?

    David Cameron - having his cake & eating it.

  • Comment number 3.

    They should look at local council pay structure, they could reduce our council tax bills quickly and easily by culling the high up wasters that run our local councils.

    That would be an election pledge I would sign to.

  • Comment number 4.

    So the Tories are going to cut taxes (particularly for the rich) not implement tax increases already suggested by Labour while cutting the National Debt at a faster rate)

    Three possibilities come to mind
    1) They are being disingenuous
    2) They are confabulating
    3) They are just electioneering.

    The other and worrying possibility is that they mean all of the above in which case if they win we can watch all the improvements in public services,along with hundreds of thousands of front line jobs and the fragile economy all go flushing down the toilet.

    You think the nations in difficulties now with this irresponsible crew at the helm we'll be lucky to see a recovery in 5 years and will see unemployment (as with the last Tory government) consistently in the region of 4 million.

  • Comment number 5.

    It is a bit early for the Tories to predict tax cuts. Thet need to get in power and find out just how bad the public finances are before making promises.

    I suspect it is a lot worse that Messrs Brown/Darling are prepared to admit.

  • Comment number 6.

    Anything that cuts taxes - especially for Businesses - is always welcome and helps employment. It's also good to see someone talking about making efficiency/waste savings, it's about time there was a very serious sort out of government.

    To help fund cutting the deficit I would prefer to see an increase in taxation on spending - maybe an increase in VAT on luxury items - rather than any increase in direct taxation, that way it is the big spenders who pay more (usually the big earners) and the prudent are rewarded.

  • Comment number 7.

    Any one, except of course BNP/UKIP/English Democrats, etc that can reduce the tax burden that I face will get my vote!

  • Comment number 8.

    This is cheap electioneering to make them look good to the voters as we ALL know that they will get the money one way or another.

    They say they are serious about cutting the deficit and now they are giving money back to us.

    Instead, they will make even more Draconian cuts but they dont tell us where as presumably they are scared to ....

    The voters will see through this and realise the Cons are proposing to con us even more.

    Why can't they just be honest.

  • Comment number 9.

    I listened to part of the speech by Lord Snooty's pal on Radio 5 this morning and I was reminded just how much the Tories talk down to you.

    Labour have demonstrated the exact same contempt for the electorate over the last 13 years but I had forgotten the unspeakable arrogance of the self styled Tory master race lecturing the kindergarten. "Brown said he is going to increase taxes - now we don't want that do we children?"

    I'd rather have the economy run by Ozzie Osborne!

  • Comment number 10.

    As a person relying on benefits to top up my Army pension, I dont really care. I pay NI contributions on the £7456.00 per annum pension which roughly equates to £23.00 per month, so any impact would be very minimal.

    The tories havent laid down any plans that would convince me to vote for them in any shape or form. I was listening to Vince Cable prior to the budget and he hit the nail on the head with every word that he said about reducing the debt and getting this country back on it's feet, so I am going to follow them.

    My vote will probably make little difference as it's the Tory plans to make the rich get richer, and as the majority of this country are home owners, I am sure the rich will be sucked into voting for the tories.

    I don't care who wins to be honest, but it's Lib Dems for me.....

  • Comment number 11.

    NI contributions pay for the National Health Service and Pensions, something we all need one way or another.
    These have to be paid for somehow. Look at America and the huge injustices there, and be glad to pay a
    bit more for what is fair socially. And think very hard about what Tories will really do if they are the government.

  • Comment number 12.

    As a small business director, this is great news!! My company pays national insurance to all employees. Due to the current situation, we were looking at employing on a freelance basis, as increased NI would add to the burden, along with massively increased Corporation Tax (up form 0% on the first few £000 of profit when I started 9 years ago, to 21% on everything now (the government were going to raise it to 22%, on hold until they can get away with it). The drop in VAT hurt us as we had a flat rate scheme whih they didn't drop in line with the hedline drop. Now that VAT has risen again, they have raised our flat rate to higher than it was before. More stealth taxes that no one notices except the small business. We are a successful, growing company, being held back by huge tax increases.
    If the Tories mean it, I'll back them.
    I agree that people earning more should pay more, but small businesses are the backbone of the economy. Look after us!

  • Comment number 13.

    The thing is that ALL political parties can say whatever they think will get them elected. But after being elected nothing obliges the "winners" to do what they said they were going to do (and not do things they never mentioned before).
    Add to that the people involved have already shown themselves to be highly dishonest.

  • Comment number 14.

    Mr. Byrne's (Chief Secretary to the Treasury) comment about the Conservatives losing sight of cutting the deficit is a bit rich considering it was his Party that created this massive hole in the first place.

    I welcome any measures that will help small business and thereby take people off the dole queue.

    A lot has been written about the Tories playing their cards close to their chest. Can you blame them when NuLabour, devoid of any viable initiatives of their own, immediately take them on as their own. Mmany measures in the past that started off as Conservative ideas but then were subssequently hi-jacked by the government.

    Both Liberal and Conservatives have suffered from this type of theft so I personally understand fully why they don't come out and state exactly their plans if they assume power.

    Roll on polling day when at long last the public will have its say.
    Let's forget all the jibes about NuLabour represent the layabouts and the Conservatives look after their own and concentrate instead on doing what is right for this once great nation.

  • Comment number 15.

    Well, it's a start. We need to get away from the madness of Labour's tax and spend policies. I hope in the future, the Tories will reduce income tax as well as what employers are forced to pay out in NI contributions. It's time to stop punishing people for working and employers for employing people.

    There are also plenty more cuts which could be made without undermining front line services, so £6 billion sounds rather small to me.

  • Comment number 16.

    This is just a pre-election gimmick from a party that have no original ideas. It is also a gimmick that is not very well thought out.

    How exactly do they expect to pay for this especially as we are in a global recession? Knowing the tories they will cut public services and as a result the poorest and most needy in society will suffer the most.

  • Comment number 17.

    Fantastic news - Tories have my vote. I am fed up giving Labour and scroungers - same thing I know - most of my hard earned money. As for those on here who state Tories have no clue about economy - who r u comparing them with ??????? - if it is Clown, Slime and Co, then u need a REALITY check - where have u been for the last 13 DISMAL, TAXED TO DEATH, years??????

  • Comment number 18.

    Common sense at last. Next we'll be hearing that we're moving back to the trading partners only relationship with the EU (saving us billions) and they'll be getting my vote!

  • Comment number 19.

    Comment No 1 Wu Su.

    I am a benefit scrounger through no fault of my own (Broke my back in the Army & now Disabled)

    If they cut benefits to the so called scroungers, who is going to look after the likes of me and thousands of other servicemen injured during campaigns that dont really involve us, then being left on the top of the benefit pile?

    We were protecting this country, what are they going to do do for us now eh!!!! Bloody nothing..

  • Comment number 20.

    Good. Reward for hard working people for a change. Labour supporters will squeal at this, of course, but there are better ways of raising revenue. Many Labour supporters speak of improved public services but in all honesty I have not seen any significant improvement in anything. The roads are worse than ever, public transport is still non existant outside of the major towns and cities, schools seem worse than ever, crime doesn't appear to have gone down, we are getting unhealthier (the number of fat kids is beyond belief), our bins only get emptied once a fortnight, libraries are closing down etc etc. What I do see are thousands upon thousands of people working in the public sector who actually contribute nothing to society, you know, the diversity officers, waste enforcement teams, 5 a day cessation officers and the like. There are massive savings to be had. It's just having the will to do the right thing for the country. We now have 50% of jobs in the UK in the public sector. What are we trying to achieve? A communist state? We must invest in manufacturing and the private sector. real jobs making money for the country, not phoney jobs just to keep the dole figures down.

  • Comment number 21.

    Seems to me they should go further an announce an end to this benefit driven society, we would save shed loads in cash and we might get some scroungers back to work when they cannot afford their fags or sky tv?

  • Comment number 22.

    The Tories proposal to not implement the NIC rise is a piece of electioneering.
    However if it is not then how are they going to bring the deficit down?
    Both the Liberals and the Labour party seem to favour a staged reduction, stabilising the need for borrowing and then as the economy revives, using the extra tax revenue to pay of the borrowings.
    The Tories seem wedded to immediate cuts and quite severe ones too. Cameron's team seem to view the first Thatcher term as the exemplar for managing public finances. If that is the case we are in for a really rough ride.
    Many people voting Tory at the next election, to get rid of NuLabor will also be voting themselves out of a job. Cuts in public services reduces demand in the economy, private businesses who supply goods and services will be hit too.
    A managed recovery suits me, it would minimise and shorten the misery.

  • Comment number 23.

    National Insurance is a tax on jobs. As long as the tories identify credible other ways to cut the deficit, I think this is an excellent idea - raising NI is one of the WORST ways to cut the deficit.

    A good start - now let's see some more policies! A lot of people are thoroughly sick of Labour's profligacy but the jury is still out on the conservatives I would say.

  • Comment number 24.

    Osborne is not really proposing a tax cut. He's reducing the INCREASE that Brown/Darling wish to impose on already overtaxed people whilst retaining it for the high earners.
    It's illogical to claim the Tories are proposing tax cuts for the well off & thereby putting the less well off at a disadvantage when in fact, it's precisely the opposite that's being proposed.
    Isn't this what the proponents of redistribution want?

    Whether or not this piece social tinkering is economically sensible is debateable as with most economic levers & buttons, the outcome will not be accurately known 'til well after it's implemented

  • Comment number 25.

    He should provide much bigger tax cuts by scrapping child benefit for the under 18's. Make the parents pay for all the feckless youths having children instead of taxpayers

  • Comment number 26.

    Clearly Gordon Brown has over taxed the UK economy which is why companies are closing and jobs going abroard.It is unclear why those who are lucky enough to have a job are receiving more benefits but in the name of getting the twelve million back to work its about time employers can think about starting to employ UK citizens again after years of waste under labour.

  • Comment number 27.

    Of course they are going to cut National Insurance, they won't need it so much once they have privatised the Health Service.

    Whistle on Cameron if you think you are getting my vote.

  • Comment number 28.

    I saw on TV yesterday, those large adverts from the Tories slagging of Gordon Brown, with huge pictures of the PM.
    What excellent publicity the Cons have given to Labour as the only message from the Cons was "its time for change". Change to what, under the Cons?
    This NI announcement is yet another pathetic ploy to create a smokescreen as they dont have any real policies to announce.
    Any money we get back will mean bigger cuts elsewhere and will those cuts affect the well off? NO WAY ...
    The Cons MUST be so desperate to be so neagative and even NASTY .......

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think its a clear depiction of once again the Tories just looking out for the high earners.

    Just because people are on benefits does not make them an underclass, or even any less 'hard working'. Not everyone is privaledged to a life of middle class where everything comes easily and therefore making you believe that it is a right.

    It is a lot hard to work to get something when you have nothing, especially in the current economic climate. When you have finances and resources its a doddle to top it up.

    If you are earning £45k+ a year i am sorry but i have little sympathy that you have to pay a couple of pound more in national insurance....

    The Tories will never change from greedy tyrons who would send the working class to workhouses if they had the opportunity to boost their finances.

    I would consider myself to be well educated (I hold a BA (hons), PGCE and MSc), and work as a primary school teacher, I do not and never have used the benefit system. It is rather selfish that people believe that just because they have more money than others that they are a better person. More so that they foster this in our children. There is nothing the Tories would be able to do to convince me that they are a party that will benefit the UK as a whole! Not just the middle classes.

  • Comment number 31.

    No-one is daft enough to fall for this old tosh, surely - if you cut taxation in one area, you have to raise the money in other directions - simple, basic 'o' level economics and common sense come into play- oh, silly me, thats why we've had the present shambolic, dishonest, crew for so long, still, now we can replace them with yet another crowd of egomaniacs - bliss!

  • Comment number 32.

    He (G Osborne)said he had identified £6bn of savings that could be made by government departments in 2010.

    mmmm ! bit vague that statement "identified" "could" Why doesn't he came straight out and say "will be made" and tell us exactly what he has identified.
    Or am I being naive.

  • Comment number 33.

    As usual it's all about getting votes, promises promises, sorry but the Tories never pull through with their pledges. I don't know why they waste their breath. Sure they WILL reduce taxes, but spending cuts and loss of essential services will occur to pay for it. Either that, or they will borrow borrow borrow, till they get kicked out and the next lot have to pick up the pieces "again"!

    People have very short memories, this is the same policy making that created the boom and bust era of the 80's. It ISN'T a solution to the current financial crisis. For service levels to remain the same taxation HAS TO go up, it's simple arithmetic.

    The reality is that they should be looking at ways of improving efficiency in the public sector, denying expenses claims for senior managers and expensive pointless seminars would be a start. Make the money go to where it is needed, instead of making already well paid people even more comfortable.

    Every 5 years we see the same thing, Tories - we will cut taxation, but increase spending. Labour - We will change the way tax is taken to put more into spending. Liberals - we will increase taxation and maintain current spending. We've heard it so many times we should have it printed on t-shirts. I didn't believe it 5 years ago and I still don't believe it now.

    Campaign promises are empty no matter which party we are talking about.

  • Comment number 34.

    This would be good news (at least the Tories have realised that tax cuts shouldn't be limited to the rich this time), were it not for the fact that it's nothing but a cynical election ploy.

    George Osborne is attempting a rather interesting juggling act in which he simultaneously promises to protect services, cut taxes and reduce the deficit. Presuming Ashcroft hasn't agreed to fund all this, Osborne is either misleading the public (in which case he can't be trusted and shouldn't be elected) or he doesn't realise that these three promises are incompatible (in which case he is incompetent and definitely shouldn't be elected).

    I look forward to seeing Osborne exposed this evening by Darling and Cable.

  • Comment number 35.

    Please stop perpetuating the misrepresentation as a tax CUT, it is an indication that the Conservatives will not implement a planned Labour tax RISE.

    Likewise, do not perpetuate the myth that 'NI' is anything other than a tax feeding into the general tax pot. Any semblance of a linkage between the money raised by it and the provision of health care and pensions has long since been blown away.

    However, anything that makes it easier, or at least cheaper, to employ people is a Good Thing. Better to raise money by taxing spending, as individuals have some discretion about how much and on what they choose to spend their money.

    And I still want to see inessential spending cut before being prepared to accept any rises in any taxes. I do not pay tax to service loans, I pay tax so that essential services are funded.

  • Comment number 36.

    1. At 11:13am on 29 Mar 2010, Wu Shu wrote:

    Excellent! Finally we have a party that puts hard-working people before benefits scroungers. Well done to the Tories for doing something for taxpayers.

    I think you are being somewhat naive with that statement.

  • Comment number 37.

    There are a lot of saving to be made. Any one can see that, I dont need G Osborne to tell me that. But he will not make the cuts where it is needed.
    Local and County Councillors wages and perks/expenses, MPs expenses,Accountants and managers in hospitals, tax loop holes for the super rich who managed to hide billions off shore in Belize and Leichenstein.
    Instead the cuts will affect those who can ill afford it whilst we all get a lecture from G Osborne and Cam on how to save money with grubby mismanaged finance houses or ivest with Lloyds.

  • Comment number 38.

    I find the Tory reasoning far more engaging and honest than the rubbish Labour is spouting. And just watching News 24 I found the behaviour of Ed Milliband off putting in the extreme. Shouting over the far calmer and less exercised Phillip Hammond told the story in itself. Ed was clearly rattled, as are Labour. If there are efficiencies to be found then this government, like with most things has poorly run the services in its charge..
    Labour taxed pensions and caused a mess, they over spent on the NHS and caused a mess, they under spent on our soldiers and we have more dead soldiers now than we ever should have and more importantly they have consistently lied, and attempted to control this country in a scary socialist manner.
    One policy I agreed with, ban on fox hunting, they went at half heartedly and took years to pass, costing the country a fortune.

    I prefer the honesty of Osborne to the fog of boredom from Darling.

  • Comment number 39.

    Coming on top of the frozen council tax pledge, this is great news for the vast majority of people. Instead on government spending stimulating demand in the economy, the tories are leaving the money in our pockets for us to do the same. I think I can spend my money better than the government can. And it will be spent in my local area helping my community.

  • Comment number 40.

    Strange how keen some are to accept an increased tax burden in order to maintain the status quo. Tax cuts vs tax and spend? We've had way too much of the latter (and look where that got us) so perhaps it's time for a bit of the former.

    Or look at it another way: the people directly responsible for spending vast amounts of money and dragging us into a financial black hole are now proposing to take even more money off us to get us out. How does that saying go? "Before tackling an addiction, you must first admit you have a problem."

    There is one thing I would smile about, though. I would laugh out loud if they trotted out Tony Blair as some sort of cheerleader for the failed neo-Conservative experiment that was New Labour: "Vote for us, the party of warmongering and privatised profits! Gimme an "N"..."

  • Comment number 41.

    This is an economically clever move by the Conservatives.

    To sort out our finances, two things have to happen at the same time. Public sector cuts, which all parties are signed up to, are the first. The second and just as important, is that the private sector economy is given time to breathe, recover confidence and grow. The NI mitigation planned by the Tories will do exactly that.

    Labour have made a mistake, whether as a result of their "big state" ideology or as an election tactic, in trying to turn this election into a competition on who cuts least in public spending. The private sector at the end of the day pays the tax bills and needs to be given time and space to grow stronger.

    As for funding it, this is actually a small ticket item in the grand scheme of things. For example (and I have no idea if this will happen) deferring the aircraft carriers would pay for it.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    Sorry i would not trust George Osborne with my bus fare.

  • Comment number 44.

    An excellent idea.

    The future of this country depends on a thriving economy and Labours Job Tax has a direct impact on the abilty of some businesses to expand and create jobs.

    Labours solution for keeping unemployment down - creating more and more Public Sector Jobs is unsustainable.

    Why does so many people have a good word for Vince Cable??? A guy who talks down the economy as often as he does would have a real negative impact on economic growth if he ever got close to the levers of power.

  • Comment number 45.

    This is a typical pre-election carrot and sadly many will be suckered in by it.

    Of course what he hasn’t said it what tax will increase like VAT an indiscriminate that really will hurt the low paid / low income households.

    What ever either party say’s now is just rhetoric trying to win those marginal seat votes.

    Talk about fiddling whilst Britain burns.

    To get this economy working we need jobs and not one of the parties is suggesting ways of generating them, and thousands like my self who have been made redundant in our late 50’s will fall straight through the safety net and into the unreported long term unemployed pile.

    They spend £60Bn plus on benefits and I would like to know who is getting it because I am entitled to nothing.

    Creating 4 million jobs @ £12k = £48Bn most of which would go back into the economy and would slash the benefits budget whilst reducing crime and getting many long term unemployed don’t wont to work spongers into work.

  • Comment number 46.

    9. At 11:26am on 29 Mar 2010, chiptheduck wrote:
    I listened to part of the speech by Lord Snooty's pal on Radio 5 this morning and I was reminded just how much the Tories talk down to you.

    What piffle !! This is inverse snobbery at it's worst. Cloth cap idiocy. The fact is Labour governments have ALWAYS wrecked the economy.

  • Comment number 47.

    Clevor Trever wrote:
    mmm... he does look like an Old Etonian toff from the Bullingdon Club...

    What was the question?


    Classism works both ways you know and even though I don't like the Torie's policies, comments like this give nothing except smug self satisfaction and soul appeasement.

  • Comment number 48.

    Every Labour government we've ever had has bankrupted the country, so no surprise here.
    Every vote for the Lib Dems or Ukip will let Brown and Co back in.
    As a nation we are in serious financial trouble and it is simple economics that will get us out of it.
    Tory policy is the only answer, ask the CBI and the Markets.

  • Comment number 49.

    Still not as good as the Lib Dems offer of a tax free allowance of £10,000 so that the person in the street especially a school leaver can afford to get to work.
    The sensible tax free allownace would be equivelent to the minimum wage for 40 hours per week. This can be index linked to the minimum wage.
    Either way the Tories are not reknown for giving too much way unless you have a few mill stashed away some where then your in the club mate.

  • Comment number 50.

    11. At 11:30am on 29 Mar 2010, bcumulus wrote:
    NI contributions pay for the National Health Service and Pensions

    In the begining that was true, now its not; this tax just goes into a communal melting pot. NI contributions are not ring fenced in any way for pensions and the NHS. Just like road tax isn't spent on the roads. More weasly coniving from our elected snouts in the trough.

  • Comment number 51.

    19. Not all those on benefits are scroungers, but surely you must agree that they exist.

    If you were injured and are now disabled in the service of our country then you deserve all the support you need.

    Any decent working person has no problem with funding benefits from those in genuine need but object to those who can't be bothered.

    The NI cut (or removing the raise) will benefit those on low and middle incomes. About time, we have paid for this governments incompetence for years.

  • Comment number 52.

    Is this really the best the Tory Cons can come up with up? They are bereft of ideas, with no real interest in supporting essential public services and those in real need. The Cons are about one thing and one thing only: private greed.

  • Comment number 53.

    3. At 11:19am on 29 Mar 2010, Sres wrote:
    They should look at local council pay structure, they could reduce our council tax bills quickly and easily by culling the high up wasters that run our local councils.

    That would be an election pledge I would sign to.

    I couldn't agree more! Every day I wonder why on earth I am paying my council tax bill, the pavement in front of my house is a disgrace and I am surprised no one has seriously hurt him or herself yet, not to mention the state of the roads in my city! Where the hell is my tax money going?

  • Comment number 54.

    Ha ha ha.

    Best joke yet, well done HYS on posting the "Joke of the Year"

    Vote conservative at your peril, they are the most arrogant bunch of bigoted, ignorant self serving money grabbing leaches in Westminster.

    When election time comes and your in the voting booth, as yourself this question. Can I claim expenses for my Moat or Duck House?

    Then vote for the candidate who lives on the same planet as you do.

  • Comment number 55.

    Am I the only one that can't take George Osborne seriously.

    He looks like a paperboy in a suit and a plum in his mouth

    As a consequence, I cannot take him seriously on any economic proposal.

    Vince Cable is the only Treasury spokeperson from ANY of the 3 main parties that has the gravitas to speak in such an authoritative manner.

    I hope he will be the next Chancellor in a coalition Government as our problems are too serious to just leave in the hands of Labour or the Tories.

  • Comment number 56.

    It seems to be a common thought today amongst financial commentators to suggest that the cancellation of the NI rise will be paid for by an increase in VAT. The "common thought" usually means that the commentators have been briefed by tory HQ. So the choice is between paying on average £300 per year extra in NI or a price rise over the board on transport, clothes, wines and spirits, theatre and cinema, white goods and on and on. This announcement by the boy wonder is a joke. It will save the tory donor employers money, but the sting in the tail will cost us all - higher inflation, higher wages. Back to the old boom and bust. Who came up with this - George or Dave the epaulettes ?

  • Comment number 57.

    25. At 11:47am on 29 Mar 2010, Keith5485 wrote:
    He should provide much bigger tax cuts by scrapping child benefit for the under 18's. Make the parents pay for all the feckless youths having children instead of taxpayers
    / End Quote.

    Under 18's are children, why should the parents not get Child Benefit?
    (caveat if they are in full time education or training)

    Or are you suggesting the only Parents with Children over 18, should get child benefit.

    Maybe I should claim for my 26, 28 and 30yr old kids?

  • Comment number 58.

    Not increasing NI contributions for most employees is a very good idea. If we are going to get out of the awful mess which Gordon Brown has got us into, we need a strong private sector with significant growth. Increasing the "tax on jobs" (which is all NI contributions are - they are not ring-fenced to pay for pensions etc as some seem to think) is a good way to slow down growth. This policy will increase growth in the private sector and so help bring down the deficit. It will also "save" money for the public sector, which would have to pay increased NI contributions to the Treasury.

  • Comment number 59.

    30. If you are a teacher surely you can read.

    This is a cut for those earning up to £45,000 so how does this work out as a cut for the rich?

  • Comment number 60.

    There's a perception on here that NI Contributions are somehow ringfenced for NHS and pensions. Newsflash!! - it all goes into one big pot and gets mixed with everything else. It has done for quite some time now. This is why promises can be made about cutting one tax - it's sleight of hand and another tax will increase to offset it.

    Now, I'm not saying either Labour or Conservatives are wrong in what they're proposing, but I have other thoughts about how we should steer the country through this mire and I'm waiting to see who comes closest to that.
    The tax system is burdensome and confusing, and creates un-needed Public jobs. I want things to be obvious and easy. Scrap all taxes and start from scratch. We need only two personal taxes - Income Tax (at source) and Value Added Tax (at point of sale). These should be adjusted to suit the government of the day in balancing the books. The headline rates would probably around 45% Income Tax and 20% VAT, with a £15K tax free income. But there'd be no Council Tax etc., and poorer people would be better off. Then they only need to sort the benefit system and I'd vote for them.

  • Comment number 61.

    I wouldn't vote Tory for all the tea in China. Everyone knows they only care about themselves and their wealthy associates.

  • Comment number 62.

    To #19 Michael940.

    Perhaps if New Labour diverted the benefits they give to young teenage mums who make a career out of breeding for a life on benefits then maybe you'd get looked after properly? I'd be happy to see people like you have double the benefits you currently get whilst some 17-year old teenage mum with three kids lose ALL of her benefits.

    I am sick to death of seeing so much of my hard-earned money being taken from my pay packet every month and wasted by New Labour simply to line the pockets of the 'rent-a-cab' ministers and the bone idle of this country.

    I simply don't want to pay any more taxes and that's not being selfish. Being selfish is when you contribute nothing but expect everything.

  • Comment number 63.

    Seems a much better proposal than that fraudulent budget last week, what a joke! Do Labour actually realise the extent of the deficit?

    I watched the Prime Minister lie the other day. He said the Government had given the Armed Forces everything they had asked for. All the Generals have since denounced this as rubbish. I served in Afghanistan and everywhere there were shortages. Gordon Brown is a bare-faced liar and he has the cheek to talk about his upright Scotish Presbyterian Principles. I am fed up with this Government and anyone who is considering voting Labour after the mess have got this country into should get their head examined. The Conservatives will have to sort it out again.

  • Comment number 64.

    1. At 11:13am on 29 Mar 2010, Wu Shu wrote:
    Excellent! Finally we have a party that puts hard-working people before benefits scroungers. Well done to the Tories for doing something for taxpayers.
    Anyone with a job must sick of having so much of their income being stolen from them by New Labour and then dished out to the benefits-for-life underclass that New Labour has bred over 13 years as a means of securing votes.
    I totally agree that cuts can be made in benefits... Anyone who isn't working and can afford a car, drinking, smoking, mobiles, sky tv etc is being paid too much, it's simple economics! No wonder it's a career choice for so many, it's the easiest way to make a living.

    But before we group all on benefits into this pile, lets remember that there are some genuine people in need who the system was designed to help. It's those hat abuse it that need to be stamped out!!

    I'm not against tax rises to pay for the good of this country, what i'm against is the constant waste of this money to pay for foreign aid, wars, public sector pensions, endless government 'think thanks', benefit abusers and endless money waisting IT projects. Take my TAX and put it to good use and I don't think so many will have a complaint. But if you're gonna take it and waste it then keep your grubby hands off it!!

  • Comment number 65.

    They'll have to do better before I'll vote for them but one thing is for certain, I won't be voting for NuLabour.

  • Comment number 66.

    This is the same old Tory Clap Trap that got the Personification of Evil Elected.
    If you want Thatcher (the milk snatcher) Vote for Cameron and His Clowns.

  • Comment number 67.

    Small wonder we are are a nation in crisis.
    Some of the irrational loony left comments tell me, we get what we deserve.
    An IQ test before being allowed to vote would be a good start.

  • Comment number 68.

    NI is a tax also on Employers,so discourages employers from employing more people.Therefore it is good what the tories are doing.They should be praised for doing so and not criticised.

  • Comment number 69.

    "31. At 11:50am on 29 Mar 2010, taunton-hobbit wrote:

    No-one is daft enough to fall for this old tosh"

    Sadly many are by reading comments on here. :(

  • Comment number 70.

    Post 30 (YurikO) has obviously not read the policy (slightly worrying given all the qualifications quoted!). The blocking of the NI rise next year is only for those earning UP TO £45,400. Those earning more will still pay. This is a sensible policy as a first attempt to reverse the ruthless taxation of those hard-working people earning a modest living of UP TO £45,400.
    They also plan to prevent the NI increase for employers (which is clearly a tax on employment) - sounds like another good idea to me.
    Where to get the money from - well hopefully they will have a load of initiatives to cut-back on those scrounging from society (as distinct from those who genuinely need help).

  • Comment number 71.

    I don't understand why married couples with children get tax breaks (well I do understand, like everything it's 100% about selling votes). However I don't understand the public benefit in the move.

    If there's one thing we humans have shown we don't need an incentive for, it's sex & reproduction. The world's population is increasing billion upon billion. Overpopulation is the central key threat to mankind. Britain's population will surpass 70 million in a few years time.

    So why do all the political parties force us to pay for people to produce yet more offspring? Totally absurd.

  • Comment number 72.

    As they won't form the next government, the Tory plans are just that - plans...

  • Comment number 73.

    Yes! Just about anything is better than the hash this current lot have made of our country

  • Comment number 74.

    . At 11:19am on 29 Mar 2010, steve wrote:
    So the Tories are going to cut taxes (particularly for the rich) not implement tax increases already suggested by Labour while cutting the National Debt at a faster rate)

    You think the nations in difficulties now with this irresponsible crew at the helm we'll be lucky to see a recovery in 5 years and will see unemployment (as with the last Tory government) consistently in the region of 4 million.

    Who are the Rich Steve ? you mean hard working Tax Payers ?
    And are you telling me the Unemployment figures are lower now with the way this failed Government manipulate the figures . and as with all previous Lab our governments they have run out of money , and got the Country in massive debt again . you want more of that ,

  • Comment number 75.

    Loved the post about the 'Bullingdon Club'! So what if Cameron and Osborne have come from privileged backgrounds - it's how they would run the country that counts. And let's face it, how could they be any worse than what we've had over the last 5+ years under Labour? Taking us to the brink of bankruptcy, going back on election promises (Lisbon Treaty), increases in anti-social behaviour etc etc - the list goes on!!! Plus, if the press reports are to be believed, the whole Labour operation is now being directed by Peter Mandelson! A guy who had to resign from Government Office twice for not telling the truth, and who now cannot even be held accountable by the electorate!!!

    It is time for a change, and the only credible party that can be elected are the Conservatives. Afterall, things cannot really get any worse than they are now.

  • Comment number 76.

    I hope they are not going to give with one hand and tke with the other. They should also look at reducing the number of MP's and local councillors and cut the salaries of local council and NHS CEO's and Directors. Then look to cut child benefit and the benefit syetem in general. They could up the tax on gambling by 50% that we be a good earner.

  • Comment number 77.

    We need to cut the dept and the tories want stop the NI rise. Its the same every election the tories appeal to peoples greed by promises of tax cuts why don't they just get the debt down lets have all the pain up front it may gain them a few votes if they are honest with the people.

  • Comment number 78.

    1. At 11:13am on 29 Mar 2010, Wu Shu wrote:

    Excellent! Finally we have a party that puts hard-working people before benefits scroungers. Well done to the Tories for doing something for taxpayers.

    Anyone with a job must sick of having so much of their income being stolen from them by New Labour and then dished out to the benefits-for-life underclass that New Labour has bred over 13 years as a means of securing votes.

    Your either a multi millionaire or never seen the front of a dole queue
    Theres not enough jobs for everyone to be in work.... so what we all starve to death so you can take an extra £2-3 a week wages?
    Your going on that we sponging benefits out of your pockets, what about all the taxes we have to pay?..
    So you want us to lose our benefits but still pay taxes on everything and sit back and say nothing?
    Supose we could come off benefits and take your job or the guy sat next to you but where does that leave you? would you be willing to spend all your savings on taxes while getting nothing back?

    If Labour hadn`t dragged us into the EU and threw $billions of our taxes away to people thats in most cases better off then we are then this benefits issue wouldn`t be a debate
    But slamming your own people because of what the countries leaders are doing will one day turn around and bite you back... just hope i`m there to witness it
    If they givng handouts to anyone, try looking at the imigrants walking thru the door each day claiming benefits then spending it on bringing more of their families over to sponge off us

  • Comment number 79.

    Yet again the Tories are playing the same old cards.
    'look after number one and forget the rest"
    Looks like the same old same old party from the greed ridden 80s.
    Sadly for the Cons their is no credible Coal Union for them to stick the boot in.
    Look out Unite! You could be their replacement.

  • Comment number 80.

    Good to see a party doing something for both the lower-income and middle-income earners. Labour really seem to have given up on being "New Labour" and have reverted to being a hard-left monster from the 1970's. A government is meant to represent the country, not a narrow interest. The Conservatives now seem to have become the party for everyone.

  • Comment number 81.

    Both New Labour and Tories have it all wrong. The Mega Rich should be taxed, and there should be NO talk of cuts on anything. The poorest are already hideously poor and hardworking people are suffering from job fears. This is an abomination. The Banks and the City and the finance institutions must have serious tax implemenented on them and the tax havens should be reigned in. I am sick of the ordinary joe being punished for the sins of evil dergegulated finance capitalism. The Tories only protect those who created this economic situation and will make things worse in society by overstressing those who are not in a position to bear it and letting the mega rich off the hook. A Disgrace.
    Both main parties have it wrong.

  • Comment number 82.

    "1. At 11:13am on 29 Mar 2010, Wu Shu wrote:
    Excellent! Finally we have a party that puts hard-working people before benefits scroungers. Well done to the Tories for doing something for taxpayers.

    Anyone with a job must sick of having so much of their income being stolen from them by New Labour and then dished out to the benefits-for-life underclass that New Labour has bred over 13 years as a means of securing votes."

    Your argument is a non-sequitor. I agree we pay too much to the bone-idle, but that's an argument for paying them less; cutting taxes for those in work is another issue.

    (For what it's worth, given our current deficit the only sensible option is cutting benefits and *raising* certain taxes.)

  • Comment number 83.

    The NI increase was not a great idea given it makes employing people more expensive but the money it would have raised has to come from somewhere. It can't be come from efficiency savings, any money made from efficiency savings has already been allocated, in fact more money than can be made from efficiency savings has been allocated already (by all the parties). It will probably have to come from higher tax which according to Tory policy has to come from the lowest paid since they've already rejected further tax increases for the better off. If they don't raise the money from tax then it will have to come from further public spending cuts (4.3 billion minimum) which means increasing unemployment so they'll be significantly increasing current unemployment to make it slightly cheaper to create jobs in the future.
    Any policy that any party puts forward now has to be paid for, all the parties have already spent any easy savings that can made so new policies have to be paid for by higher tax or higher unemployment and increased unemployment means an increased benefits bill so it's a very expensive way of raising money.

  • Comment number 84.

    Those wealthy enough to pay privately for healthcare, education, housing etc., and selfish enough not to care about those less well off, will always prefer cuts in public spending, and will naturally vote Tory.

    The rest of us would be mad to do so.

  • Comment number 85.

    Roy - Comment 36

    You got that spot on, my comments at 10 & 19 will explain why.

    Wu Su should have looked and thought of the broader picture.

  • Comment number 86.

    Clearly, the Tories are as guilty of spin as the Broonites.

    Everybody has been prepared for tax rises but the first thing the Tories promise is to reverse a rise! Have they ordered a job lot of size 22 boots and red noses?

    If this is what the Tories are offering, I pray for a hung parliament! Perhaps one of the minority parties can inject some sense.

  • Comment number 87.

    It is sensible to try and cut the national insurance, particularly for employers, as the proposed tax increase increases the cost of employing staff, and therefore increases the likelihood of staff cutbacks or more likely will act as a brake on recruitment. Obviously if unemployment increases because of the tax, tax revenues are lost, not just the national insurance but also income tax, so cutting the proposed tax may actually increase tax take.
    If you look at individuals the tax increase takes away a further 1% of their incomes, which means they have less to spend which then has a knock on impact across the economy.

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    THE FIGURES DO NOT ADD UP. We have a £168 billion deficit but the Tories are going to cut tax income. Pleeeeease!. What a Con.

  • Comment number 90.

    It amazes me how how binkered by political dogma, most of the people who have commented on this subject are.
    Try looking back over the last 13 years of NULab without your rose tinted glasses and see what damage has been done to this country in those years.
    Then look back over the previous 13 years and try to remember what heppened in those years.
    Then decide which party is best for this country.
    Dont forget , most people in the USSR thought Stalin was a great guy.
    Dont forget most people in pre war germany thought Hitler was a great Guy.
    Use Your brains to decide, NOT DOGMA.

  • Comment number 91.

    Ill believe it when I see it.
    Politicians always say one thing before an election and then do the complete opposite after it.
    They call it electioneering, I call it lying.
    I'm still waiting for the referendum on Europe that the labour party promised us before the last election.

  • Comment number 92.

    What we know is that savings means cuts. Even if this are in backroom staff there work still has to be done. If you need to contact jobcentre who proccess the information that you give to the first person you contact. Osborne must know this and that services would slowly come to a halt as back ups accor. Perhaps this is the idea so that services can be privatised and profits made by his friends like Lord Ashcroft

  • Comment number 93.

    I want to see tax cuts and spending cuts. You could for sure take 10% to 15% out of public spending just by cutting the colossal waste - front line services would not even need to be touched.
    For an easy hit that will save absolutely £bns, go through the list of quangos top to bottom - plenty of fat there.
    As for this nonsense of 'we need to keep up borrowing to keep up spending to ensure the recovery', don't make me laugh. Since when did a credit card addict spend his way back to solvency by continuing to borrow? This is just a lie put out by Brown so he can justify borrowing & spending till after the election to up his re-election chances.

  • Comment number 94.

    Only someone who will reduce my taxes, cut back on benefits, make work worthwhile again and give me back the funds that were appropriated from my pension plan will get my vote.

  • Comment number 95.

    Hang on didn't the tories spend the last couple of years saying that the main difference between them and Labour was that they would cut the deficit fast and that was the responsible thing to do?!

    So how is cutting government income in any way productive or responsible? It will surely lead to an increase in the deficit or a further cut in public services? Maybe Daniel Hannan's extreme vision for the NHS will come true yet.

  • Comment number 96.

    Yes, I think they are.

    I wonder how long before Brown and Darling start pinching the Tories ideas?

    As an incentive for truth - how about we connect the entire current Cabinets pensions to what really comes out after the election? So if the cabinet are being economical with the truth and the cuts are bigger, then their pension goes down? Might be a bit of a novelty to see them answer direct questions...

  • Comment number 97.

    19. At 11:43am on 29 Mar 2010, Michael940 wrote:
    Comment No 1 Wu Su.

    I am a benefit scrounger through no fault of my own (Broke my back in the Army & now Disabled)

    If they cut benefits to the so called scroungers, who is going to look after the likes of me and thousands of other servicemen injured during campaigns that dont really involve us, then being left on the top of the benefit pile?

    We were protecting this country, what are they going to do do for us now eh!!!! Bloody nothing..


    Stop scaremongering, you know full well that decent hardworking people have no qualms about benefits being paid out to people like yourself. You and everybody knows who and what we mean by benefit scroungers.

  • Comment number 98.

    Nowhere near getting into office and the sTories are up to sleight of hand already. Six billion pounds sounds like an awful lot of jobs disappearing somewhere, call centres to India maybe?

  • Comment number 99.

    Great ! The only people whingeing about this will be in the public sector making the assumption that public services will be cut to pay for this. Wrong ! We can't afford the level of public services even now. The way you create wealth is by giving it back to the people. The Soviet Union showed that the State is an immensely inefficient way to distribute money into an economy. Less bloated public services and Guardianista non-jobs, more money in the pocket of the average family.

  • Comment number 100.

    So much written about UK benefit scroungers, but what about the international ones?

    The UK is paying millions in foreign aid to countries like India who have the money to fund a space programme but not help their own poor.

    Get the priorities right here. Charity begins at home, preferably with our OAP's who have paid so much into the system over their lifetimes and now live in poverty thanks to our abysmal state pensions.


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