BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say
« Previous | Main | Next »

Will National Insurance increase help or hinder the economy?

09:13 UK time, Thursday, 8 April 2010

The executive chairman of Marks and Spencer, Sir Stuart Rose, has accused Gordon Brown of insulting the intelligence of businesses over Labour's plans to raise National Insurance. Who is right on National Insurance?

Business leaders of more than 60 top companies have backed the Conservatives' opposition to a rise in National Insurance

Gordon Brown will argue that the Conservative plans would put the economic recovery at risk by removing £6bn from the economy in 2010, and business leaders who have signed up to the Conservative plans have been "deceived".

The Lib Dems have said the dire state of the public finances mean they cannot oppose the NI increase but say their focus is on taking the lowest-paid people out of tax altogether.

How will a National Insurance increase affect you? How important is this issue? Do you have a personal experience to share?

What would you do if you were prime minister?

Comments

Page 1 of 13

  • Comment number 1.

    Will National Insurance increase help or hinder the economy?

    Businesses argue that NI is a tax on jobs.

    Fair enough, if they don't want to contribute to the UK recovery in that way lets increase taxes on business profits.

    Business did very well in the boom times, they should certainly be joining in the effort to clear the deficit.

    Or do these wise business leaders think that private UK citizens should foot the entire burden alone?

  • Comment number 2.

    NI increase (i.e. tax on jobs) will hinder the economy.

  • Comment number 3.

    National Insurance used to be a reasonable levy that everyone paid in order to secure an old age state pension. Nowadays, it is just another one of Brown's taxes that disappears into his pathetic government's (small "g") coffers, with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to show for it. BROWN & LABOUR have increased NI in their typically under-handed way over the past 12 years such that the effective rate of tax that we pay in UK now exceeds USA, most of Europe and Australia (which for years was the benchmark high end for personal taxation). A further NI increase is neither justified nor necessary. If this government were to be run like a private business, I GUARANTEE that there could be 25% reduction in costs and 25% increase in efficiency. Brown is simply INCAPABLE of achieving this, and would tax us literally to a stand still. BROWN MUST GO, TAXES MUST COME DOWN and the UK's PRODUCTIVITY must improve.

  • Comment number 4.

    By the way, i think it would be an interesting exercise to see the personal tax returns of these 'captains of industry' who keep speaking out against NI increases.

    How much personal tax, as a proportion of income, are they paying?

    If its less than the average UK citizen, that should tell us all we need to know.

    In my view people who avoid their full tax burden in these troubled times should be denied the vote.

  • Comment number 5.

    Giver Labours appalling record on the economy I'd take the word of business leaders over theirs any day of the week. Labours answer to everything is more tax, soon they'll just take the lot and give us back some pocket money. Hannan was right when he said "You can't borrow your way out of debt and you can't keep squeezing the productive part of the economy to fund the unproductive part".

  • Comment number 6.

    Ask yourself, if you had to pay increasing taxes to the government, every year, for every friend you had, would you continue to make new friends? Would you be discouraged to make new friends? Would you even drop some friends?
    Its the same for businesses paying increasing taxes for every employee they have. Its the small businesses that will suffer.

  • Comment number 7.

    As i am retired so this debate will not affect me. Cameron says he will not implement this but the money has to come from somewhere but he is not willing to say where. Why can't they be more up front.

  • Comment number 8.

    "Who is right on National Insurance?"

    Let me think about whose opinion to believe...

    Business leaders who have successfully steered their respective companies to profitability and prosperity in the real world

    or

    A man who is a career politician who has successfully steered the economy into meltdown, sold gold at its lowest possible price, pushed the country into massive debt that'll take decades to pay off and has lied, bullied and generally messed up the UK for future generations.

    Tough choice isn't it? I think the business leaders just shade it.

  • Comment number 9.

    If after 13 years of this government the economy can only survive by ever increasing subsidy and debt then we need a government who can wean the economy off this and back to natural growth driven by wealth creating not wealth consuming sectors of the economy.

  • Comment number 10.

    This increase in NI hits everybody, especially the low paid, the very people labour claim to represent, it will mean employers will think twice about employing new people, as many companies are struggling to survive already.

    No amount of spin by this government can justify this increase, the fact that labour wants to hold off the efficiency savings they say they can make to 2011 is a joke, like the rest of us, if you know where you can save money in tough times you act straight away, not a year or so later.

    Roll on May 6

  • Comment number 11.

    Like most people, I just don't know. Unlike most people, however, I am not going to use HYS to have a pop at any of the political parties, the CBI or anyone else. Please don't comment people, unless you know what you are talking about. Judging by previous similar threads, that's a forlorn hope.

  • Comment number 12.

    I guestimate that Sir Stuart Roses organisation will have to find an extra 7 million pounds for the rise in NI. Given the forecast 630 million pound profit and his undoubted abilities I believe he will manage this increase in costs successfully

  • Comment number 13.

    It is a hindrance of course. The private sector suffers because we can't simply strike like the public sector do, effectively holding taxpayers to ransom. Yes I know, the bankers whom we bailed out were private sector, but they are a tiny fraction of it and it doesn't mean train drivers and GPs should use that as an excuse to feather their own nests at our expense.

  • Comment number 14.

    The NI increase will not increase job losses where it hurts since we do not have any jobs to lose any more. In case anyone has forgotten we have over 5m people of working age out of work for one reason or another, and something under 10% of that figure in available work.

    The Liberal Democrats have it about right on taxation since taking out a huge swathe of people on incomes of less than £10k will reduce bureaucracy elsewhere (tax credits for example).

    But all parties must consider things like building affordable housing to get the UK back to work, force house prices down, and stop people using residential property for anything other than a place to live in.

    The NI argument is a smokescreen between parties bereft of anything useful to tell the electorate.

  • Comment number 15.

    I have to say that I agree with the Tories on this one. The Labour administration has allowed government to expand beyond what is necessary. Although Labour governments are often well-intentioned, their state empire building leads to waste, inefficiency and bureaucracy.

    Rather than hit individual workers and businesses the first priority must be to reduce the size of government departments and to rationalise the number of quasi-governmental quangos. This does not need to result in poorer public services as Labour will argue. However, I would argue that organisations such as NHS Primary Care Trusts are overrun by staff earning over £40,000.

  • Comment number 16.

    I believe that any changes Nu Labour make will hinder the economy because quite simply they do not know what they are doing. All I know is it has taken me 13 years of working for the same company to get my salary up to £20,000 PA and now I am going to pay more NI for all my hard work. The only people who are better off under this gov are scroungers that cannot be bothered to work !

  • Comment number 17.

    Some would that the NI hike will hinder the recovery, but I think it should help the recovery.

    If the hike was only aimed people earning above the average salary and the more you earned the more survere the amount you paid.

    Also, I would also tax higher earners more and abolish all tax allowances for people earning more than £50k.

  • Comment number 18.

    NI rise will help pay for essential services that, apart from the odd weirdo’s, we all agree we need. The Tory’s will put up VAT as they have the interest of the upper class businessman in mind, so the rich get let off the hook and we will pay more tax via VAT and at the same time lose essential services, which is what the Tory toffs did last time. Cameron goes on about a new change, when in fact it’s the old Tory con, which I have to add they seem to take great pleasure in delivering. I cant help noticing the smug smiles that appear on their faces when challenged about the cuts they are going to make!

  • Comment number 19.

    I think it is very significant that Tescos have not signed up to the business leaders' compaign on National Insurance. I'm surprised that no one is mentioning this on BBC News programmes as Tescos is probably the biggest payer of NI in the private sector as they have such a huge number of employees.

  • Comment number 20.

    Isn't the answer obvious?

    If you force companies to hire less people, you end up with less tax income and more strain on the benefit system.

    When people are out of work they spend less, and they lose their self asteem.

    Any party that effects job losses has seriously got things wrong.

    The extra National Insurance income is just crazy.

  • Comment number 21.

    The National Insurance debate is completely unimportant when you set it alongside our increasing national annual debt, which is twice the annual cost of the health service.

    It is a pure diversion from the fact that the entire UK economy is in dire trouble because of an inability to make money to offset the cost imports, and politicians don't want that question asked.

  • Comment number 22.

    I want to know how much of the £6 billion is coming from the Public sector? Simply because the employers "part" will have to be funded out of savings or increased budgets!

    For what its worth £6 billion is less than 1% of GDP and if Government can't save at least 2% this year they should be sacked!

  • Comment number 23.

    The country is broke. Unfortunately tax is needed in order to eliminate the defecit. All these "business leaders" are really worried about is being able to make themselves even richer, so they're hardly a reliable source of opinion on this; their companies should still be able to carry on and therefore they should stop moaning and accept the hit when times are hard (they profited out of the short-sightedness that lead to collapse, after all). It's the ones who are only just about making ends meet who are going to struggle; whether or not some of them being unable to keep going will result in net tax loss is hard to judge.

    The circumstances where a rise would be completely unjustifiable are if they're used to increase spending even more when the most urgent task should be to eliminate the defecit. Unfortunately if Labour win the election we will almost certainly be back in that situation, so I suppose Cameron is right but for the wrong reasons.

    If you want people to spend more money house prices really need to come down - that's probably more important than tax issues. Of course it won't happen because of all the vested interests in power and the media who bought them cheap, but keeping them high long enough means more and more people (if they can buy at all, and if they're daft enough to get massive mortgages they can just afford when interest rates are low, which all too many fools have done) will have precious little left to spend after the mortgage. That's a real killer for long-term economic stability.

  • Comment number 24.

    Industry has to pay for something, otherwise it is hammer the drinker, the smoker or the motorist again and again.

  • Comment number 25.

    The Conservatives and business leaders have a history of job warnings. In the 1970's they said the Equal Pay Act would cost women their jobs. In 1997 they warned a minimum wage would cost 2 million jobs. In both cases they wrong. Whilst arguing against a minimum wage they claimed million pound bonuses for chief executives created jobs but 20 pence an hour was a cost and would destroy jobs.

  • Comment number 26.

    As Samuel Johnson might have said, "Efficiency savings are the last resort of the scoundrel". They are the easy sleight of tongue of the glib politician; easy to promise while being sure that one will not be required to the clothe the promise with any actual details.

    Do I want to pay more in National Insurance? Of course I don't; but it is dishonest in the extreme to harp on about reducing the public sector deficit without being completely clear about how the money to do that will be raised. If the Conservatives can clearly set out what the efficiency savings they say they have identified actually are, that may be fair enough. Until they do I will continue to treat their proposal as so Pinkham's Medicinal Compound and must, however unpleasant it may be, support the rise in tax.

  • Comment number 27.

    Brown certainly didn't expect this backlash on NI from business leaders. It has sent Labour into a defensive spin exercise. Business leaders are being duped and the Tories can't count according to Labour. 60 wealth creating companies are in a better position to gauge the impact of yet more taxation than either Brown or Mandelson, neither of which have run a major business. Moreover, if Brown had been such an expert on the economy he would have been aware of the warning signs from the US and taken action on the wreckless lending of the banks here. The financial market were well aware of the situation, why wasn't he. Brown seems to be blaming everyone else but he is at the core of the problem. It's time he stopped blaming everyone else, stopped patronising the captains of industry and stopped telling the electorate he knows best.

  • Comment number 28.

    This terrible Goverment doesn't know what it is doing. The NI increase will hit the workers of this country. It will not hit those who do not work,unmarried mothers, the sick, and all those who do not give into this country to make it sucessful. Why doesn't the Goverment freeze Overseas aid or reform the benefit system. !!!????

  • Comment number 29.

    If NI is such a aburden to business why are the Tories not reversing the entire increase or, indeed, why not abolish it altogether? Might the answer be that they are simply trying to embarrass the Government.

    It is interesting that the people supporting the Tories all award themselves huge salaries, then bonuses on top of that whilst one of them yesterday complained that the minimum wage is very high. A little over £5 per high is very high?? I am damned sure he wouldn't work for it and I wonder how it compares with Stuart Rose's hourly rate?

  • Comment number 30.

    Labour are trying to paint the Conservative plans on NI (and tax for that matter) as uncosted, irresponsible electioneering. As the party in power, it is Labour that could and should be more forthcoming about their plans to cut the deficit - a point proven in Darling's sham budget.

    For me, it comes down to fundamentals about strategy - Labour's "tax and spend without thought of the consequences" approach, versus the Conservative strategy of tackling fundamental issues about how our modern economy should function and the role of the state in that (to both protect and incentivise).

    NI is a direct tax on jobs and the more we can do to create wealth-creating incentives, the quicker this country will return to prosperity.

  • Comment number 31.

    "All extra cost on small business are wrong? but big business can afford this with no probelm , The government should close the top peoples, tax perks and loop holes to pay for it. and Tax the buy to let landlords at proper rates.

  • Comment number 32.

    Please,before you all start ranting about immigration, dole scroungers, single parents and the nanny state, go and read Mark Easton's blog on this issue.At the end he sums up the political differences very neatly.There is plenty of impartial information available to bring some quality to the arguments.
    Whichever side of this debate you are on, there is no excuse for spouting uninformed bigotted nonsense. Let's try and raise the tone of HYS a bit and think carefully about the implications of your stance, before you post.
    If you have an informed opinion, backed up by a good understanding of the contrary view, you are likely to make a more persuasive case for what you believe.When push comes to shove, this debate is about individual self-interest versus state interest.I think centre-ist politics should be an attempt to balance those interests fairly and effectively, achieving general consensus for the measures implimented.
    Unfortunately, many HYS posters are fed up with compromise politics and are seeking extremist solutions which will never work.

  • Comment number 33.

    As most of the Politicians ( and all of the Government) have joined the Bankers attaining the dizzy heights of the Moral LOW ground , give me the Business Leaders every time!

  • Comment number 34.

    If the big businesses don't want something, then generally, I do want it.

    "No one can earn a million dollars honestly." - William Jennings Bryan

  • Comment number 35.

    Well I am a businessman. I own and run a company employing 18 people, turnover £1.3M LFY. I agree with these increases, if we have to have increases that is, and we do due to the damage done to the economy of this country by the banks. Run incidently by those who would call themselves 'business leaders'. The trouble with Labour is that they listened to them, gave them what they wanted, hence the mess. If we have learnt anything from this financial crisis is that you listen to these self interested and greedy charlatons at your peril. Here is how I see it.
    A 1% increase in interest rates will have a far bigger effect on my business. Interest rates are very low, and that is good for me.
    OK, it is hitting me in the pocket, but not enough that I am going to lay off staff or not take on new ones. What determines my level of staff is the amount of work I have. If this increase tips your company over, then you could not have had that much of a business anyway.
    What you have got to remember about a lot of these businesses is that by various accounting chicanery they normally tranfer their profits abroad. For instance when you see News International speaking out against this be aware they do have a self interest in this.
    With this NI increase these companies will be paying tax in this country and they cannot get away with it. That is what is winding them up. Also these are not the people who will have to suffer if any cut-backs have to be made. Cameron has already indicated who will suffer the most, and it is not these so call 'leaders'. They clearly have no interest at all in pulling their weight. No, that is down to the rest of us.

  • Comment number 36.

    It's amazing how labour's efficicency savings are all fine, according to Brown, Mandlseon and Darling, but the tory savings are not. Yet the tory savings are based on the governments own advisors, and only half of what they say could be saved.
    Labour the party of deceipt.

  • Comment number 37.

    Gordon Brown has been overseeing the state of this Country for 13 years. Starting off by twice robbing the Pension Funds of the private pension workers whilst leaving the public sector workers with their gold plated pensions and public sector workers able to retire earlier! He then went for broke and sold the goldd reserves at knock down prices how is he competent enough to say that the national insurance contribution for "both employee and employer" which people forget will not make a difference to the economy - he has done the damage with his spending for the public sector lets now help the private sector.

  • Comment number 38.

    Sir Stuart Rose would probably be correct about an increase in NI contributions having a detrimental effect on jobs were the increase to be taking place in the current tax year when the economy is still emerging from the effects of the world recession.

    The scheduled increase though only starts to take effect in one year's time. By that time most assessments are that economic activity will be rather higher than now so that the chances of an increase in NI contributions impacting adversely on jobs will be reduced or perhaps even eliminated.

    Sir Stuart Rose and the other businessmen who seem to have chosen to try to influence the outcome of the General Election rather than concentrating on the affairs of the companies employing them would do well to bear in mind that a whole year is a long time in the affairs of both the economy and the companies employing them and to think strategically about what the position may be in one year's time. The downfall of RBS under Sir Frederick Goodwin illustrates starkly the possible dynamics of economic/financial situations and the dangers of not being alert to change.

    I consider that the Government has had an excellent record in dealing with the impact of the world recession on our country and I am more confident in relying on its judgment about the need for NI contribution increases than the views of an assorted group of businessmen who are not charged with overall responsibility for the country's economic affairs.

  • Comment number 39.

    I must confess I am becoming a little tired of this argument.
    I'm no mathematician, but the average/median wage in the UK at the moment lies around 23k. That means that 'average joe' will be hit by this tax. Every business will be hit by this tax. It is absolute madness, as David Cameron says, that the government should be content to carry on wasting money by not resolving efficiency savings the government themselves have found this year, but put up NI the next.
    Gordon's shifting and squirming is also very tedious. Yesterday, it was £6bn the Conservatives wanted to remove, and it would cause job losses etc. etc. Today, the figure has jumped to £12bn and apparently the money 'just can't be found - a myth' and Labour plan £15bn of 'efficiency savings' this year! Well well well! All in all I think the Conservatives are doing the best they can seeing as they don't get all the treasury data they need - the government sit on this and still can't give the public a straight story!
    I am completely sick of this nonsense. voiding tax rises can only be a good thing, and getting rid of the ludicrous waste in the public sector is a perfect way to start cutting the defecit, not dragging in more money so it can be wasted by this incredulous and may I say very arrogant government.
    It really is time for change, because if anyone wants Brown, Mandleson, Balls, Harman and co. for another 5 years (and it will be 5, mark my words) providing us with these nonsensical economies with the truth, then I feel sorry for you.

  • Comment number 40.

    I just wish that one of these political types stop snyping at the others and talk about what they are going to do for us, Labour have, in my mind ruined this country with immigration and a benefit culture. Brown is trying to save his own neck and all that waste that he, and Blair, have created. The public sector is bloated with our cash and we need to closely examine what we get for our money - the whole local government system is riddled with conflicts of interest.

  • Comment number 41.

    Frankly, if business leaders like Stuart Rose told me water was wet I'd stick my finger in some to check. Why do we continue to treat these people as if they were wise and intelligent sages? They have form. Again and again when they've made pronouncements of this kind they've been wrong and wrong again. From the Equal Pay Act, to the minimum wage and through the last year or so they've shaken their gory locks at us and prognosticated doom and they've been wrong.

    The objective truth of the matter is that the Labour Government failed. It failed to undo the voodoo economics of the Thatcher-Reagan era that created growth out of spiralling house prices and ever-rising personal debt - the same kind of voodoo economics that "business leaders like Stuart Rose vaunted to the skies - and which produced the biggest economic crash since the invention of money; one which has affected ALL Western economies - not just ours. The facts are, though, that since that crash the Labour Government has consistently got it right. The consequences have been nothing like as dire as those that plagued this country in the much shallower recession of the 1980s when the incompetence of the Thatcher Government resulted in mass unemployment, spiralling inflation and sky-high interest rates.

    So, who do I trust. None of them. But so far Brown and Darling have earned, as far as I am concerned, the benefit of the doubt. I wouldn't trust Stuart Rose with my son's pocket money.

  • Comment number 42.

    The question is does removing 3billion from workers pockets and 3 billion from busnesses and spending the 6billion on the public sector do more damage then leaving the cash with the people to spend how they want.

    NB approx 1billion of the TAX will come from the public sector so its really only spending 5billion extra.

    Bare in mind accourding the goverment figures the public sector pay bill has gone UP 12% to approx 180billion in the 2 years to september 2009. IE its gone UP 21Billion! I cant say i'v noticed a 12% increase in goverment productivity or services in the same period.



  • Comment number 43.

    NI obviously comes out the wages which employers and employees have to pay, therefor this means less wages and can be considered a tax on jobs.

    The question is can we trust this government on spending a persons NI contribution? This NI contribution should be for the benefit of the payee - not that of the government! Just as a reminder we pay for the Police and the Fire Service through our Poll/Community tax then there's that dreaded water utility these are separate taxes.

    Simply the more the NI is the less money in your pay packet so yes it's a tax on jobs, since this lot squandered left right and center, sold the tax at 'Dell boy' prices and raided the pensions kitty are we getting a 'fair deal'?

    I think not so Browny and Co can harp on all day long they WILL NOT convince me... I've started pressing the 'mute' button on telly already!

  • Comment number 44.

    Increasing Employers national insurance by 1% obviously is a tax on jobs. Obviously some businesses will be able to absorb it by having lower profits, and a lucky few would be able to pass the additional cost on in a price increase. The problem however is with the thousands of companies that are struggling to survive, this additional cost may well force them to close.
    I have first hand experience of having to close one factory, and make 50% of the people at another factory redundant. Both were manufacturing companies, and we simply could not compete with lower cost foreign competitors. The 1% increase on it own is insufficient to cause a factory to shut on it's own as I estimate it would have cost only a further £40k at the factory we closed. However it does make business even more uncompetitive, and more likely to close, it definitely would have made me look at manning to see if I could dispense with a couple of people.
    I also feel I should comment on the alternative which is to find £6 billion of savings. It actually would be very easy to achieve provide the politicans are prepared to take the right decisions. Firstly the state gathers together lots and lots of information, be it on Crimes, hospitals, schools etc. A lot of this information is a nice to have, some of it is useful but not critical, so stop spending vast amounts of money collecting it. If they still want together the information, employ administration staff to collate it rather than have professional people spend 50% of their time on paperwork. My wife who is a community OT could be 50% more productive if the paperwork was reduced. I suspect the same applies to the police force. Secondly some members of the public think they have a right to anything, no matter how ridiculous their request. The sad thing is if they complain loudly enough they often get what they want. Anybody you has worked in the public Sector will know what I mean. Thirdly there are a lot of big ticket projects that could be abandon such as national identity cards.

  • Comment number 45.

    32. At 10:24am on 08 Apr 2010, novalidopinion wrote:

    "Please,before you all start ranting about immigration, dole scroungers, single parents and the nanny state, go and read Mark Easton's blog on this issue.At the end he sums up the political differences very neatly.There is plenty of impartial information available to bring some quality to the arguments.
    Whichever side of this debate you are on, there is no excuse for spouting uninformed bigotted nonsense. Let's try and raise the tone of HYS a bit and think carefully about the implications of your stance, before you post.
    If you have an informed opinion, backed up by a good understanding of the contrary view, you are likely to make a more persuasive case for what you believe.When push comes to shove, this debate is about individual self-interest versus state interest.I think centre-ist politics should be an attempt to balance those interests fairly and effectively, achieving general consensus for the measures implimented.
    Unfortunately, many HYS posters are fed up with compromise politics and are seeking extremist solutions which will never work."

    That's just lovely, now answer me this...

    Will National Insurance increase help or hinder the economy?

  • Comment number 46.

    Surely the question is how best to raise the necessary taxes.
    Not surprisngly, business cries foul over NI, but if you remember their claims over how the minimum wage would cause a meltdown on jobs, I take their views with a pinch of salt.
    I assume the Conservative alternative will be to raise VAT, which affects the most vulnerable disproportionately.
    On balance, as a working man, able to pay my taxes, I prefer the NI hike to avoid hitting the most vulnerable with a VAT increase.

  • Comment number 47.

    National Insurance raises will not help the economy, because it means less spending and more thrift. To get people spending again in our consumer society we need lower taxes.

    To help the economy and free up money for the government, i would suggest that state benefits currently being paid out as a result of increasing levels of immigration be cut rather then further extended as is currently happening. In the past Jobseekers Allowance could only be claimed a year after entry to the UK, now it is only 3 months. This government is sending a green light to unsustainable levels of immigration which are causing a strain on national and government resources which affects everybody, namely higher taxes.

    Secondly consitutional reforms such as House of Lords reform, which would cost money should be scrapped to save money. The general public is not interested in more elections to the House of Lords, its difficult to get people to vote in Council or a General Election, let alone vote for a member of the House of Lords!

  • Comment number 48.

    The NI increase will only affect those earning more than £20,000 p.a. so the low paid won't be affected.
    Those business leaders decrying the increase are the same people who argue that they shouldn't pay more tax on their earnings as it will cause 'business talent' to go abroad. As the pay differential has increased from a multiple of about 60 times between the lowest paid employee and the highest paid in a company to 350, and these were also the same people backing up the Tories claim that the minimum wage would cost 2 million jobs,
    I will take what they say with a pinch of salt, there's an election to win by hook or by crook you know.

  • Comment number 49.

    There should be an income tax increase. A NI increase will hamper employment (but the tiny increase Labour proposes will have a negligible effect), and a VAT increase - which I would put money on the Tories producing once the election is over ('efficiency savings' covering the problem is a sham) - will hamper spending, both hitting the recovery.

  • Comment number 50.

    We need a sensible pragmatic government soon. Raising taxes is not the answer to everything every time since squeezing employees and employers out of their hard earned money does not help the economy and thus the treasury. Diverting money from ludicrous projects like ID cards to economy-benefiting projects such as building high speed train lines is required. It creates jobs and improves infrastructure of the country. Also the number of quangos should be limited. Half of them exist to produce ill-advised reports in order to justify their own existence.

  • Comment number 51.

    Everyone except Gordon Brown can see that taxing job creation is never going to be a good way to tackle unemployment.

  • Comment number 52.

    Greedy businessmen will always want more for less, M&S chief exec Stuart Rose knows the score well, employing third world workers to manufacture his items at a cheaper rates. Still they are not immigrants and he can get away with it. And as far Sir Christopher Gent, one of the other signatories, don't get me started on him....He was on the Lehmans board before their collapse and his record at Vodaphone was not exactly immaculate but Cameron trusts them.

    Well done Brown for standing up to these parasites. We need a strategy that is helpful to the UK economy as a whole, that will promote growth and manage deficit effectively, helping the public sector and not just selfish private companies who have done very well out of us in the good times and the first to complain when things go wrong. They should have strong reserves and risk management in place to deal with this. I would like to see more help now for smaller companies....

  • Comment number 53.

    'I think centre-ist politics should be an attempt to balance those interests fairly and effectively, achieving general consensus for the measures implimented. Unfortunately, many HYS posters are fed up with compromise politics and are seeking extremist solutions which will never work.'

    The NI rise is just the latest blunder from a centre-ist government who have bankrupted Britain.

    The point of HYS is for people of all opinions to be able to express them. Centrist politics are exactly what have failed us in this country for the past 13 years. Look at the state of our schools. Look at the state of streets. Look at the litter piled up all around the
    countryside, look at the explosion in violent crime. For the 'centreists' the answer is to do nothing.

  • Comment number 54.

    If we want to encourage wealth creation and prosperity, taking money out of the real economy (i.e. private sector) in taxes and pumping it into the non-wealth creating public sector is a bad idea. It will only prolong the recession.

    Labour doesn't understand this - and is responsible for much of the economic and political decline in this country over the last century.

    If we want economic prosperity in this country - and prosperity for ALL - the county needs to consign Labour to the rubbish bin of history and start focusing on wealth creation again.



  • Comment number 55.

    Why do Labour keep saying that the Tory policy would take £6bn 'out of the economy'? The money still exists - just in a different part of the economy. It is all a question of who uses it most wisely. My bet is on the 60+ businesses knowing far better how to use it to create more growth, rather that labour spending it on more NHS managers and local authority 'women's rights advisers' or 'ethnic culture co-ordinators' etc. Plenty of waste to cut there!!
    If Labour win, I can see me resurrecting my old bumber sticker from the mid 70's - it said 'Don't blame me - I voted Tory'

  • Comment number 56.

    Agree with Peaeye #1, I suppose that other businesses feel left out and want a share of the cake like the bankers! When the interest rates went down I didn't hear big business comment on how much that would save them. As per my expectations they have come out against one tax following their vested interests whilst not looking at the whole picture. The only responsibility these businesses have is shareholder value so why would one expect them to say anything else. If these companies were financialy prudent in the boom years they would have set aside for bad years? I am sure that most of these businesses would have backed the tories when they said that the minimum wage would cost jobs and over the years there is no evidence of that.

  • Comment number 57.

    "4. At 09:54am on 08 Apr 2010, Pea Eye wrote:
    By the way, i think it would be an interesting exercise to see the personal tax returns of these 'captains of industry' who keep speaking out against NI increases.

    How much personal tax, as a proportion of income, are they paying?

    If its less than the average UK citizen, that should tell us all we need to know.

    In my view people who avoid their full tax burden in these troubled times should be denied the vote."

    You don't seem to understand that employers NI is paid by the companies, and has nothing whatsoever to with personal tax. In my view it's people with such an astounding level of ignorance that should be denied the vote.

  • Comment number 58.

    I run a small business. I know what I'm going to do if this additional tax is imposed. One job will go. Thats the reality of the small business world. I cant afford to pay anymore in tax, I will reduce my worforce to contain my costs. We are not out of the recession yet and could easily slip back if this goes ahead.

  • Comment number 59.

    Quite clearly the business leaders know what they're talking about, whereas Gordon Brown is just lying again as he has lied so often in the past.

    Question: Do I believe 60+ leading businesspeople or do I believe Gordon Brown?
    Answer: What do you think?

  • Comment number 60.

    Of course an increase in NI will affect the economy. To get the economy moving we need private business to prosper, thus ensuring job creation. By putting up NI it will meant that employers will be paying more for each employee they employ. Possible result less jobs created.
    Labours answer seems to be increase the public service result more taxes, more burdon on the country for pensions etc and no growth in the real economy.

  • Comment number 61.

    Can someone answer this.

    Tories want to cut £6bn in waste this year ,to partly stop the NI increase, fair enough that makes sense.

    But then hearing Labours news conference,they said they have identified £15bn savings this year ????,but are going to wait another year rather than cut like the Tories are doing??..So the Tories are right then..

  • Comment number 62.

    Let´s be honest here, the money for bogus asylum seekere lawyers, translaters etc has to come from somewhere, and with more then 6 million punlic sector workers (a record) well money doesn´t grow on trees

  • Comment number 63.

    NIC is a tax on employment however it is looked at. Over the last 12 years, it has been increased by 20% and will, if New Liabour is returned, increase to 30%. Once the minimum level of pay (for NIC purposes) has been reached, every employer pays NIC on every employee.

    Historically, unemployment has only started to fall when economic growth has exceeded 2.25% as spare productivity capacity gets absorbed first. Less than full time working is now very common so the spare productive capacity is greater than ever before. Consequently economic growth will probably have to be closer to 2.75% before increased employment is considered and then the extra 1% will come into play and will defer new hiring until growth reaches closer to 3%. Overall result, a quantum increase in structural unemployment NOT economic recovery.

    Two final thoughts - G Brown has said he won't increase basic rate tax. First therefore do we assume he is (as we've always known) the Chancellor ? Secondly, the next increase will be employee NIC rates which is income tax with a different wrapper.The truth will be seen.

  • Comment number 64.

    It's odd how much criticism Labour's economic policy comes in for compared to the Conservatives - the OECD report yesterday showed strong signs of a good recovery, job loss has been far less than expected and whilst Brown retains a degree of cuplability, Cameron's policies would have undoubtedly caused a far worse, double-dip, recession. Of course the Conservatives are sidling up to big money, but that shouldn't grant them any more credibility than a lame duck edging closer to a shark.

    We give sycophantic, self interested business leaders a credibility that they haven't earned; particularly remembering their incredible false posturing on the minimum wage.

  • Comment number 65.

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

  • Comment number 66.

    I think that this is about ideology.
    The businesses who support the Tories basically dont want their profits to be eroded otherwise they need to say how many jobs will be created. Probably none. It will just mean bigger profits for shareholders. Which is fine.
    But shouldn't these businesses be thinking big picture too. If we pay off our deficit and are regarded as a major economic player in the world markets we will be praised and the economy will be boosted anyway. The macro economics is as important here as the micro picture.
    I am also very worried about where the Tories think £6bn cuts will come from so quickly - surely this will take time. And there will defintely be job cuts there - no doubt about it.
    I think the recent figures point out that Britain is recovering and Labour have been instrumental in this - why is that not acknowledged (Yesterday OECD). And I do believe recovery could be at risk with change - mainly because I haven't a clue what the Tories policies are on the economy.

  • Comment number 67.

    Like always Labour is a party for the rich and the intellectually self righteous. Working people cannot afford Labour, they have always pushed us down!

  • Comment number 68.

    A NI increase is a further tax on jobs and can only hit small businesses hardest. Labour has always been the party of high direct taxes and have reduced taxes with a hidden catch (remember the 10p fiasco!!).

  • Comment number 69.

    Increasing National Insurance contributions will adversley affect jobs. Business works on the basis of controlling their expenditure to a budget. Unlike the Government, who can juggle their expenses and projects to suit political ideals without answering in the short term to the electorate, businesses need to make profits for their survival. When business expenses rise above the amount budgeted then savings have to be made. The savings can only come from reducing costs for raw materials which affects the ability to produce goods, reducing overheads such as utility costs and maintenance costs,or by reducing the size of the workforce. Reducing the size of the workforce is the easiest and least painful way of adjusting the budget. By reducing the workforce you not only reduce your salary costs but you also reduce the overheads, such as National Insurance and Pension costs, while maintaining your ability to still produce goods for sale albeit at a slightly reduced volume. Since these workforce overheads can amount to 25% or more of the wage burden it is clear that any savings would be significant. The idea that increasing National Insurance for both the workforce and the employer will not affect jobs or increase the number of people out of work is ridiculous. It shows the muddled thinking behind the Labour management of the economy. There are areas where savings can be made which would not affect education, the NHS or other important services. Not applying the recent MP's salaries, reducing the size of the Civil Service including some of the duplicated non-medical management in the NHS would be more effective.

  • Comment number 70.

    Well, put it this way, the same arguments were deployed against the minimum
    wage. Did the introduction of it cause economic Armagedden? Did growth go
    into reverse? No, none of these. So why all the sound and fury? It's not going to
    happen for ages. I think that, yet again, there is a hidden agenda here. Could the
    introduction of this increase make executive bonuses a little harder to earn? And
    what about the trade-off? Will this support result in the freezing of the minimum
    wage? Something to think about. Regards, etc.

  • Comment number 71.

    If N.I. is increased business will not have to pay it. It will be paid by us the end users as business always pass off any rise in costs to us mugs. They always threaten that they will employ less staff if there is any increase on them. But do they in reality, I doubt it as they only employ the minimum amount of staff to get the job done so any reduction in staff will hurt them. They just want a party that puts them and the wealthy first. If there is a decrease in N.I. do they take on more people. Do they pass the decrease onto us, the answer is NO. They just like to line their own pockets. Loads of Money!!!

  • Comment number 72.

    The planned NI rise will also hit public sector organisations and will cost the NHS, schools and the police over £650 million a year, something which many people have overlooked. Increasing employment taxes will simply deter foreign investment and will make firms less likely to take on new people. From what I can see the money raised will simply fund the massive interest on the governments borrowing.

  • Comment number 73.

    I have worked full time since I was 16 I'm 40 in a month.

    I have never been out of work.

    I pay a large amount for private Healthcare for myself and my family.

    I pay tax on my company car.

    My Wife works as well we dont get any tax credits.

    All we seem to do is pay into the system that gives me nothing back.




  • Comment number 74.

    Hmmm. So they plan to pay for cancelling the NI increase by cutting millions of pounds worth of Government waste? Well there must right now be thousands of civil servants quaking in their boots, watching the Tories rubbing their hands with glee and openly admitting that they would reduce the number of jobs in the civil service.

    This is a sign of things to come: swingeing cuts everywhere causing unemployment to soar to levels not seen since the early Thatcher years.

    Danger.

  • Comment number 75.

    Some people keep harping on about how businesses should just deal with the 1% rise in NI and 'pitch in' to helping the economy more. But isn't the point that it's not just hitting business, but the workers as well?

    The rise in NI is not only on the private sector, but on ALL workers, private or public sector. Ironically, a tax rise won't effect public sector employers - as ultimately that's the government anyway!

  • Comment number 76.

    The idea that 60 odd business leaders can tell us who to vote for is a throwback and most people will not fall for it no matter how much the BBC and other so called new outlets continue to report this inane debate in these terms. Why don't you do your job properly and ask George Osbourne how he plans to structure his budget? Where will these cuts fall? Have you forgotten that the conservatives have already pladged to throw people on the dole costing the country more in taxes and debt we can't afford. The electorate have been through this before and we won't be fooled again by this transparent chicanery. But it is sad how naive the news media have become and how impoverished the standard of discourse is in the run up to a general election. Get a grip and buck up your standards or people will stop listening to you.

  • Comment number 77.

    "29. At 10:19am on 08 Apr 2010, Halgal1 wrote:
    It is interesting that the people supporting the Tories all award themselves huge salaries, then bonuses on top of that whilst one of them yesterday complained that the minimum wage is very high. A little over £5 per high is very high?? I am damned sure he wouldn't work for it and I wonder how it compares with Stuart Rose's hourly rate?"


    Before starting the usual "anyone who earns more than the minimum wage is evil and out to destroy us" talk, remember that we all need to work and in order to work, there need to be job vacancies. Job vacancies are created by businesses that are expanding.

    Stuart Rose started his career on the shop floor at Marks and Spencer and worked his way up. He did it by working incredibly hard and by dedicating himslef and applying himself. This country would be in far better shape if more people had that attitude instead of the attitude of "it's not fair"

    NI is obviously a tax on job creation. The ideal is that NI would be abolished altogether and the gap plugged by reducing the criminal levels of waste and benefit fraud in the public sector.

    At any rate, I will always listen to people who have proven themselves in the real world in business and industry ahead of Gordon Brown who is a history lecturer who worked his way up the endless ranks of the Labour party.

  • Comment number 78.

    With the NI debate I notice that it is the Chief Exec's of these companies coming out to register support for the tories. Have they canvassed the opinions of the people they employ or do their opinions not count? After all without the employees no profits. Sure that all of the supporters so far will also be dyed in the wool supporters of the Tories so this is hardly surprising. Bottom line is we need to reduce the deficit and the money has to come from somewhere. Economic pain is coming its just a matter of how much and by what method. Cannot help thinking that the Tories will resort to the onnly methid they know cut, cut and cut again. This was the party that came up with such great economic ideas as...shut down the entire mining industry. Not happy with Labour's performance, but at least we all might have jobs with them. Poorly paid after the taxes, but that is to be preferred to mass redundancies.

  • Comment number 79.

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

  • Comment number 80.

    The government gets more than enough income from us already. There is no need to increase the NI or any other taxes and duties. what is needed is a complete re-organisation of the governments spending and distribution of the current income.

    Raising NI will lead to further job losses and a lessening of the average householders disposable income.

  • Comment number 81.

    The NI increase is good news for New Labour's voter base - which is mostly those on benefits and those who pay little or no income tax or NI.

    The NI increase is bad news for those that are traditionally not New Labour's voter base: those with aspirations, those who work hard to better their lives, pay the most in taxes and NI and claim little or no benefits and those who employ people.

  • Comment number 82.

    Well, tax rises are going to be necessary to plug the gaping hole in the public deficit and so if it's not on NI then it has to be som ething else such as VAT, income tax or some other taxes.

    I don't find Gordon Brown's position that to avoid having to raise NI that £6B has to be cut from government spending in 2010 and that would postpone recovery, credible. If there is £6B of waste and inefficiency that can be cut out of government spending this year without impacting front line services, why wait? If we knew we were wasting money in our own budgets, we would act to cut it out as quickly as possible? Why does Gordon Brown have a policy to continue to waste money?

  • Comment number 83.

    The issue is really far more fundemental than just "where the money is coming from".

    1) Industry & enterprise create wealth (particularly with exports).
    2) We all consume wealth (particularly with imports).
    3) Governments consume wealth (providing us with services).
    4) We are massively in debt and that has to be reduced so we have to reduce our consumption of resources.
    5) Tax increases (NI is just another tax) divert more of the wealth to government to allow them to continue consuming it to provide us with services.
    6) The portion of NI increase that the conservatives will abandon is badly targeted because it is on the employers (wealth creators).
    7) To reduce the overall debt we need to reduce consumption. While government services matter to individuals - economically it does not really matter if we reduce government spending (waste?) of tax consumption (VAT?). Either way we need to tax consumption not creation of wealth.

    Probably the fairest way to achieve the debt reduction aims is to heavily increase VAT on luxury goods - particularly imported big ticket items. If you are going to tax income then it should be on the wealthiest with the highest amount of discretionary spend. That not only diverts wealth to the government to spend on our services but also serves the other need of reducing our overall consumption.

    This explains why an NI increase is economically illiterate (and, no, I am not a fan of David Cameron & his Tories).


  • Comment number 84.

    Nu Labour say that this is taking money out of the economy? That is the myth. A tax cut puts money into the economy .... into every working person's pocket and into the private sector/ wealth creators.

    Brown and co have frittered away billions while the going was good. They didnt put anything away for the rainy day that has dawned on us all. A little bit of prudence (remember that word) rather than arrogance and this government might have had more room for manouvre right now.

    Good on the tories for trying to give something back to people.

  • Comment number 85.

    I seem to remember the same arguement used by Tory Business leaders when Labour first proposed the Minimum wage. Loss of jobs business going down etc. Well the only thing that happened there was that we stopped subsidising business' who were exploiting their work force by paying ridiculous wages whilst lining their own pockets.
    So as far as I'm concerned its all crocadile tears and the only thing they are concerned about is themselves and by spreading mistruths like this they think that they can force a Tory victory.

  • Comment number 86.

    The rise in NI is a side issue to the whole election campaign and quite frankly is scaremongering by the conservatives and some business leaders.
    Firstly the rise in NI will not come into affect until 2011, the economy will be 12 months out of recession by then, we already have a 0.4% growth for the last quarter of 2009 and I would expect to see further growth again this quarter and for the remainder of the year.
    Will a rise in NI realistically stop large business recruiting? No it won’t if they need the staff they will need to recruit irrespective of the NI level. Business leaders are purely interested in their bottom line and creating as much profit for the shareholders as possible.
    The real question here is when you start to take money out of the recovery. The Labour party do not want to do this until 2011; the Conservatives want to do it this year. Taking money out of the recovery this year will stall and reverse the economy and this position has been backed by a large number of economists. Stalling the recovery now will be disastrous and will put us into a far worse position then we were in last year and this will affect jobs far more than any rise in NI.
    The real debate is for how long do we prop the economy up and we must do this for the remainder of this year before taking money back out of the economy, this is what Labour are proposing. The Conservatives on the other hand want to withdraw money from the economy this year on top of further withdrawal of money next year (6 billion alone by reversing the NI raise), this I’m afraid will stall and reverse the fragile economic growth we currently have and create a far greater problem for the country than a large world debt.
    Pumping money into the economy has taken us back to a growth position and we must continue to support the economy until it is stable enough to stand by itself and only then can we start to withdraw that support and bring down the debt.

  • Comment number 87.

    For goodness sake let go of this NI obsession. It's petty and unimportant.
    we all know taxes will have to rise, just accept it.
    The most important part is that you have a choice between two parties who will change nothing or the chance to vote for anyone else who will change things.
    If we all voted for change then Labour and Tories won't have a mandate as no-one would vote for them.
    This is our opportunity, please don't waste it!

  • Comment number 88.

    Brown is really annoying me by continuing to complain that the Conservatives have not said how they will pay for not increasing NI, implying that cuts will have to be made. This may have had some justification if the extra money from NI was going to cut Britain's deficit, but it isn't, as for the last two days Brown has been saying he will spend the extra NI on improving services. So the answer is simple: the Conservatives are not committed to Labour's unspecified extra spending, so no cuts in existing spending will be necessary to keep NI at current levels.

  • Comment number 89.

    If these 2 advisors (Gershon and Read) are wrong and we don't get efficiency savings of £6bn, who's going to pick up the bill? Are the experts going to pay it out their own pocket, or will the tories put up other taxes to pay for it?

  • Comment number 90.

    Its a tiny ammount of money compared to our debt. It's a principal thing - Labour think the way to get out of the mess is to tax yet more and retain already inefficiant public services without making hard decisions - Tories see reducing taxation as a way of sparing and incentivising the already hammered but vital private sector. This encapsulates the dogma that cripples this country.

  • Comment number 91.

    it's not the big business's that would struggle with the increase in NI, I'm sure M&S and the like could absorb it, the small buisiness, struggling from week to week would be hit very hard, the type of buisness this lot promised to help, some hope. interesting report this morning, that 98% of all new jobs created by this shower have gone to foreign workers,"british jobs for british workers" eh Gord.

  • Comment number 92.

    Labour and the SDP both favour a declining government spending regime over a period of time. This will in effect stimulate the economy they argue. The Conservatives favour reducing government spending immediately. Given that many businesses derive income from government projects, I'm inclined to say that the Conservative approach will damage the economy, and lead to a reduction in jobs. If you accept that government spending must decline slowly, then the NI increase isn't unreasonable, and although it may be seen as a tax on jobs, it may not damage employment as much as the Conservative approach. Businesses have benefit from the very low interest rates (although the downside is that they have more difficulty finding banks that will lend), so the increase in NI will probably be less than increased profits. Looking at CEO salaries, I'm not terribly surprised that business leaders denounce the rise in NI, since they have typically taken rather larger shares of profits than (one might think) they really deserve.

  • Comment number 93.

    Biscuiteater ( comment 35) well put. Its good to see that there are responsible business owners who are not out just to line their own pockets ( just like there are MPs who are not out to line theirs. Compare Busicuiteater to the Tory supporting owner of a national bakery in Bolton, who had DC there giving a speach to the workforce, yet would not allow the staff to talk to the BBC afterwards. Is that Tory democracy in action?

  • Comment number 94.

    Of course an NI rise will affect the recovery, employers as well as employees will have to pay this rise so what does an employer do? He reduces his staff by one to save costs... so another person on the dole, not producing and taking benefits.

    Why can’t people and the government realise that people who own or run a business are there to make themselves money AND not to give people jobs out of the goodness of their hearts or to make money for the government.

    However this probably will not affect me soon as I may as well give up and sit at home Why? well almost 50% of my wages are taken in taxes (income tax and NI) BEFORE it even reaches my bank account, I then have to pay my travelling costs to and from work, tax on petrol, council tax, utility bills etc etc, and everything has gone up ACCEPT my salary.

    You can only tax people so much before it becomes more viable to sit on benefits than go to work as they will be no worse off, after all what’s the point of working 40 hours a week plus 10 hours travelling when someone sitting there doing nothing has exactly the same disposable income as me.

    The economy will recover WHEN they stop taxing people to death and tax is down to a reasonable level so it will actually be worth going to work in this country, the government can also help by stopping giving all of our money away abroad (EU, aid and Development grants) and to fund their useless pet projects (ID cards etc).

  • Comment number 95.

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

  • Comment number 96.

    If there has to be a tax rise (and I think there has to be) then I would sooner it was on National Insurance as opposed to either Income Tax or VAT.

    I'm sure that the millions of pensioners in this country would agree with me or are they to be regarded in the same way as the work shy benefit scroungers who are frequently criticised here on HYS.

  • Comment number 97.

    Of course there should be no increase in National Insurance It is a taxation on jobs and we need more jobs not less, and yes this money and a lot more can be saved by the criminal waste of the tax payers money in the public sector.
    Any manager from the private sector moving to the public services could save billions, the reality is that the private sector have reacted to the mess that the government have got the country into by becoming more efficient,restructuring and contracting, and reducing wastage and in some cases stopping waste entirely, this has cost jobs and it has reduced wages and wage cuts to do this, its aim is to survive this recession at all costs and then start to rebuild on new foundations. I am unfortunately a casualty of this, but as a realist I understand that that something had to be done otherwise everybody would be out of work, and the business gone. It is hard medicine to take but it is the only way forward.
    Private industry carries this country forward this finances the needs of the country, it requires all the encouragement of the government, They [government] live off of the private sectors earnings.
    The public sector is not immune from doing its own evaluation it requires leaders of solid backbone to do this we all know it wastes billions of pounds. Throwing more money at it is not going to sort it out, it requires someone with balls to take on the job and reciprocate what the private sector have done, get efficient, give a fair days work, increase efficency and productivity and the stop the wastage.

    I have often wondered if the MPs have been getting away with their all the old expenses until the lid came off the can, what have all the others been doing? Food for thought.

  • Comment number 98.

    The Conservative plans are a shabby and underhanded con-trick. They claim they will be able to make £6bn in extra savings this year so they wouldn't have to find the £6bn that the NI rise would bring in to the Treasury next year. Where is that going to come from? There's no such thing as a free lunch, you can't slash this £6bn out of government spending without it taking time and costing jobs. So if they did somehow manage to hit their target we would end up with a lot more people joining the dole queue. When you chuck large numbers of people on the dole queue it reduces overall consumer activity and has a negative impact on the whole economy as the ripples spread outwards.

    So if the Conservatives get their wish, we will very likely end up with a nosedive back into recession.

    What's more likely is that they wouldn't be able to slash as much (or as many people's jobs) as they say they want to and would have to find the bulk of the £6bn from elsewhere. If they are ruling out putting that burden fairly across workers and employers with NI then that means they will have to find a way of putting it just on the workers, i.e. you and me. No thanks Mr Camewrong. You can keep your shabby trick.

    The problem here is that Labour are not explaining effectively what the Tory game is. The headlines are all 'Gordon says the business leaders are all mugs' not 'Tory NI plans mean job losses and recession now, and a tax rise for YOU but not the businessmen tomorrow.'

  • Comment number 99.

    Its obvious that any business that "feeds" off the people wouldnt want any tax that they could not get out of paying,who can blame them?The jobs issue is a red herring though as business has always shed labour for whatever reason and regardless of whether or not its a NI rise by 1%,a rise in VAT or even business profits. Business will continue to shed labour if its not doing as well as it could be its a fact-boom or bust.To be honest as a voter I dont give a monkeys about business leaders nor I expect do many other ordinary people.Its not a god given right to run a business in this country.All of the people own this country not a handful of business leaders or a dodgy bunch of political spivs.The country has a debt and we ALL will have to pay for it-rich and poor-lets get it paid off and move on-hopefully without these bunch of political wasters and greedy business leaders.

  • Comment number 100.

    Whilst most people recognise the need to protect spending at the NHS and similar what is unacceptable is the Government's secretive and dishonest attempts to deny the planned NI rise is a tax increase. But this government has been carrying out such hidden tax rises by grubby sleight of hand since 1997. They are thus only acting in character which is dishonest, insulting to our intelligence and elitist.

 

Page 1 of 13

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.