Comments for en-gb 30 Sat 27 Dec 2014 18:56:10 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at Deme It will help the economy as it is the one tax you can't get out of unless you are unemployed, normal taxes can be manipulated this one cannot. Mon 12 Apr 2010 11:11:56 GMT+1 Fluvia Sabrina Going down the road this morning I passed three parcel delivery vans all making a single delivery to my street. That is inefficient. Ergo, the best way to improve efficiency is to have a single carrier (Royal Mail?) - less fuel used (good for the environment), less people used (not so good for the economy), less equipment used (fewer imports?). But is that what the political parties mean by efficiency? No, they wish to turn professionals into wage slaves; to give frontline services more administration to do; above all, they wish to cut corners.What is a small NI rise compared to the insidious cuts in caring for our sick, our children and our elderly; in keeping our streets safe at night? Mon 12 Apr 2010 10:27:52 GMT+1 Colin National Insurance is just another tax. It doesn't contribute to pensions, benefits etc in the way that the old stamp was supposed to. I know that an individuals contributions do affect their state pension and benefits (or widows benefits if their partner dies), but it is disproportionate and dishonest, so should be scrapped, even if it did mean additional income tax to compensate. Atleast then it would be clear to all what we were paying and why. Mon 12 Apr 2010 08:54:26 GMT+1 steve So Lord Snooty's Party Public sector efficiency savings to pay for the tax cut and bungs to the rich consist largely of not replacing staff when they leave.Clearly back of a fag packet economics as this is simply untargeted job cutting.So much for "we will protect front line services".PS Has any one Spotted the Baron Osborne? Or has he been locked in a small box with the shadow home secretary?"Dear oh dear mate, you need to take those ferrets out from down your trousers, they are obviously angry today. Try wearing under pants instead like everyone else.Why not take a break from the class war stuff. Go & feed the whippets or muck out the pigeon loft. Maybe that cloth cap needs darning. Or maybe the coal needs moving out from the tin bath.-------Just telling it how it is. 80% of those paid in the public sector are on the front line, that is where the cuts will fall not in illusory "back offices" If it was so easy to find savings there why didn't the Tories do it when they were the Government for 18 years! I speak as an ex Police Officer married to a Nurse who lived through the Tory cuts of the 80's and 90'sHaven't got a Tin Bath and I am allergic to Ferrets.Why don't you get one of your serfs to clean out the Fox Hounds Kennels and you might have room there to store your stereotypes!PS Still no sign of the illusive Osborne and as for the shadow home secretary just a shadow now! Mon 12 Apr 2010 08:45:51 GMT+1 Rob H Well it rather depends on how they spend the money really. It could be used in all sorts of ways to stimulate the economy. By for instance subsidising business start ups. Paying for retraining people. Offering grants for Eco-projects using UK made equipment ( like the ones you can get on the continent ) Am sure the captains of industry won't like it cos It affects their bottom line and the articles of incorporation ( the PLC rules ) have nothing in them about public conscience or morality just a duty to make a fast buck for the shareholder. Thus they are legally obliged to oppose anything the might affect the payouts to the shareholders even if it does screw the country over. Sun 11 Apr 2010 23:42:36 GMT+1 LondonHarris 1195. At 10:13am on 11 Apr 2010, Mr Jones wrote:This Labour Governmenet seems to spend its time dreaming of ways to squeeze tax from workers and business. No mention has been made of the billions of pounds that benfit claimants are costing our economy.----------------------------------------------------------------So whats really the Conservative alternative Plan then?Perhap, Reduce the Tax upon the Workers and Tax Unemployment Benefit?On the other hand where are all the Millions of "The New" Employment Places going to come from once the bottom is reached with an expected whole-sale shreading of ALL types of Public Sectors Jobs, and will we have to raise Quantitative Easing again to further raise enought Cash to pay for the expected Billions of pounds it WILL cost in Unemployment Benefits.Therefore, the faster we Cut back the Conservative, the more we will need to find to fund Full - Time Unemployment, for the many and for the Long - Term.Perhap again, ALL the future Unemployed will be offered a Job at M&S ??? Sun 11 Apr 2010 22:57:04 GMT+1 poggytyke It's a drop in the ocean and won't make the slightest difference either way.There's so little between the politicians - they're all self-centred egomaniacs who shouldn't be trusted to run a whelk stall - that they'll seize on anything to try and make themselves appear different.And yes, they really do believe we're that stupid. Sun 11 Apr 2010 19:58:15 GMT+1 E3Says 979. dissypo1960 asks: if "'Labour have made better schools'. Could you explain then why school teachers are thinking of going on strike. Not because the schools are good but because the class sizes are to large.I wonder if you have a family to support or you are so rich that you can afford to lose money from your paypacket. I never took any pay rise to help during the depression like the goverment asked. So is it fair that I now get punished for that due to the goverment not controlling the banks. I have to pay. Wonder if my morgage provider will allow me to pay £12 a month less probably not."On Schools - As a pupil in the 1980s, a parent with children and school now, a Governor and someone who works with schools professionally, it is disingenuous for anyone to suggest that there haven't been extraordinary improvements in schools. Maybe not enough, maybe some not as much as others, maybe with children still not having high enough skills to match increasing employer needs, but without a doubt, improved. Teachers in the 1980s had real reasons to go on strike- poor pay, poor recognition, no investment in schools, large class sizes etc. Today, I've no doubt there are some reasonable grievances amongst teachers, but you have to ask - is it Labour or Conservatives who are more likely to reduce class sizes and continue to invest (record sums) in state schools ? (apologies to the Lib Dems, who doubtless have some credible school plans as well).On what I earn and fairness: I'm not a top rate tax payer; I'm self employed and I haven't been able to increase my fees for 2 years. I also took the sensible precaution of getting a fixed rate mortgage to avoid getting trapped by increasing interest rates on my home, but as a consequence have not had any benefit from nearly zero rated interest that others have. And I have a family to support etc, etc. So I'd say I'm reasonably normal by comparison to many and have suffered like others.And of course, some bankers should be better held to account. But whilst all parties see that are say they want to control the bank excess, the Tories add insult to injury by offering the wealthiest 3000 people in the country a cut in their inheritance tax, would take away the 50p tax rate for those earning more than £150k as soon as they could, will raise VAT hitting us all where it hurts, and are likely to deliver far bigger increases in unemployment, with all the consequent social and economic expense, just because George Osbourne is dogmatically insistent on doing something different to Labour, rather than doing the right thing by us all. Sun 11 Apr 2010 19:11:59 GMT+1 Elaine Armstrong As a single person,age 54, with a full time job, earning just over £16000 a year,I would like to what the government intends to do for all the single low earners in this country.Too much is made of families I have brought up a family of my own and I wasn't paid to have children, the tax credit system is rediculous, millions being paid to people who dont need it, free dentist, free prescriptions, £500 for laptops for parents on benefits who have room sized tv's sky, internet. Working full time I can't afford luxuries like these!! Sun 11 Apr 2010 18:17:45 GMT+1 dave I think for anyone to answer this question they need to understand how economics and the monetary system work ( If it is increased or decreased it wont have a huge effect as other issues are at play, such as money supply. Sun 11 Apr 2010 16:35:25 GMT+1 Country Jane To put up National Insurance is just another means to bleed the tax paying public dry. If all the money went into the NHS. Then any hike would be alright. But we have in power a group of people who's ethics are questionable. This increase will just mean that more cash in hand jobs will be done and any chance of a finacial recovery will be doomed Sun 11 Apr 2010 14:01:19 GMT+1 2squirrels Either way it will make no difference as if an employer needs another member of staff he will not hold back for £1 in £100 and if they want to increase productivity and profit they need more people working. It is a smoke screen which the leaders are hiding behind to avoid answering all the questions which the people want to know the answers to. Sun 11 Apr 2010 13:45:56 GMT+1 triarius Less burden on business activity will only help. The problem we are in now is the familiar one. Labour confuse the government of a (admittedly waning) major nation with running a second-rate workers' charity - always with the same result of further national decline and looming bankruptcy. Sun 11 Apr 2010 09:37:24 GMT+1 Mr Jones This Labour Governmenet seems to spend its time dreaming of ways to squeeze tax from workers and business. No mention has been made of the billions of pounds that benfit claimants are costing our economy. There was a time when I belived that to work, pay fair taxes and to generally contribute to the country's wellbeing was the right thing to do. Nowadays I feel that I am being foolish by working and that the only ones not suffering in this recession are benefits claimants.Which party has the guts to say that benefits will be reduced by at least 20% and therefore negate the need to increase NI or any other tax? Sun 11 Apr 2010 09:13:36 GMT+1 joshua goldblum It will of course be detrimental to the economy. I find this a typically stupid question.Anything that is an added cost to industry must be detrimental to it. Duur !!!Selectively the gov could treble the amount that the companies / employees have to pay for employing a non british worker. This will work in 2 ways. Firstly reduce the number of immigrants taking our jobs, and secondly make them pay for the service they have not paid for in the past.This to me makes sence but of course the PC & HR of the EU will not agree to this along with our "open door" policy on immigration. Sun 11 Apr 2010 08:55:14 GMT+1 windblown Comment 10. ANDY. "This increase in NI hits everybody,"No it doesn't. It doesn't hit pensioners, the unemployed or anybody else on unearned incomes. The alternative tax raised VAT would hit anybody who buys anything, ie virtually everybody.The Tory way of paying for their bribe is not to fill posts where people have retired or resigned. Great. My school is already short-staffed. My sister's department in Whitehall is struggling to meet ministerial and departmental deadlines because they are short-staffed. Her department has had to make savings under this government's efficiency drive. They are already cut to the bone. The government has already made your efficiency savings Mr. Cameron. Their budget plans have taken account of them.Where were you making savings Mr. Cameron? Sun 11 Apr 2010 08:37:15 GMT+1 chrislabiff I presume that helping the economy helps us. So the question could be Will National Insurance increase help or hinder us?Well, lets all have a guess..... Sun 11 Apr 2010 07:37:07 GMT+1 vexed voter I think it is a very good reason not to shop at M&SIt seems that there are a select number of directors who want to dabble in politics with out the responsibily. The Parties should not encourage these people to vouch for their policies.Once elected all D Cameron can say " I didnt say that, I was misquoted by director A, who is not an elected MP or part of the cabinet".Either way a tax will be increased some where. As somebody pointed out a long time ago the political parties never cut or scrap the taxes they objected to when in opposition.D Cameron has not talked about cutting VAT because directors get the money back or they just pay for stuff on expenses so why worry about VAT.All hog wash. Sun 11 Apr 2010 02:21:37 GMT+1 nickdurham Let's be clear about something here, the government is planning on making £15bn of "efficiency savings" next year, which the conservatives are claiming at least another £6bn ON TOP OF. Believe me, redundancies will follow. And I'm sorry, but "back office jobs"?! No, nurses and policemen will be ot of work, thats who.and let's be clear, from someone who has worked in the private sector all their working life this argument that the NI rise will cost jobs is pathetic. You know what? I'm not a senoir manager on a large bonus scheme, but take my bonus - on the proviso that if i get ill someone will look after me and my family, or my friends and neighbours. Take a bit more tax, on the proviso that my children can go to a state of the art school, with a well balanced and SUCCESSFUL curriculum. Tax me - and make sure that there are policemen available to come and see me if and when i need them. I have paid taxes for almost all the period i have been eligible to(bar a period of redundancy)and i have paid them gladly and happily.I guess it all boils down to what sort of society you want to live in. One that values and cares for those memebers of that society, regardless of their status in life, or one that puts market forces and personal gain above all else. I have claimed the dole, and housing benefit. And yst i have also been a successful manager of a large team in a blue chip company. I can also clearly see that this idea of a cut of another £6bn will be disasterous to our economy. Devasting even, without labouring the point.and to those who point to America as a beacon of success. Let's not be too swift to mimic a country where healthcare is rolled out to anther 32m people and the President is castigated for doing so! Something must have gone disasterously wrong in such a society! Welcome to the last days of the Roman Empire! Sun 11 Apr 2010 00:28:29 GMT+1 Billythefirst #1174 Peddling the same old brainless tory tosh as usual.You forgot to mention:They are fed with greedy businessman awarding themselves huge bonuses for abject failure!Perhaps the benefit scroungers have no suitable role models - perhaps they look at affluent people in positions of power who are screwing the system for all it's worth and think - well, if you can't beat them join them! Not that I'm condoning them of course, I'd just like to see a little more balance - and prison sentences for white collar crime. Sun 11 Apr 2010 00:27:36 GMT+1 LondonHarris 1172. At 5:42pm on 10 Apr 2010, pgmetcalf wrote:492. At 5:23pm on 08 Apr 2010, Justin33 wrote:Labour fail to see the big picture - lower taxes mean more employment, more entrepreneurship, and eventually more revenues for the government because more people are in work and earning more. It seems all labour want to do if tax the private sector to pay for the public sector, when they should be cut. UK PLC at the moment is like a company with falling sales that is borrowing money to buy it's own products. It cant go on. --------------------------------------------------Nonsense. More employment? yeah right, what was it, nearly 4 million on the dole under the Tories?And another thing, who is going to provide the services the country needs to function if public spending is slashed? The private sector? Your having a laugh, nobody would be able to afford those services if they were given to the private sector and I wouldn't even trust them to provide a decent level of service. Worst still, I can see the service industry shipped overseas under the Tories.The problem is, people are considering a change of government just for the sake of change and that is very dangerous. Things aren't great at the moment, my concern is that there are loads of people around who have never known anything except a Labour government so they think Labour are terrible. Well, I'm here to tell you and anyone else for that matter, things were much much worse under the Tories.-----------------------------------------------------------Yes indeed, for:The problem is, that while it is today the current in-thing of the moment to expect that the raising of National Insurance alone under a next Labour Government will be the only way of raising revenue for the foreseeable future, and is the "Only" reason as to why Unemployment will [ or more over, SHOULD ] rise.This of course is nothing more than complete nonsense generated by a Conservative lack in past events, for the then once re-visions of the future, along with what can only again be described as having now, by the many, a short-memory lapse by those in Big Business, and elsewhere.For has everyone got such a shortage in Memories, that they have NOW forgotten the scoring levels of Unemployment during the previous wasted 18 Years of failure under the former Conservative Governments, when David Cameron was then at the Treasury while under Norman Lamont when Interest Rates when through the Roof during Black - Wednesday.The problem is that David Cameron doe's carry "Past" Baggage in a previous Conservative Administration, whereas today for some reason People have forgotten his part in the Conservative Parties Follies of the Past.So therefore, - Just why are so many People pinning their hopes on what is an also once ran of the Past, in David Cameron?For my part, I would not trust David Cameron with a Barge - Pole. Sat 10 Apr 2010 23:02:56 GMT+1 realHarryPotter Some of those who've commented on this HYS seem not to have worked out that much of the increase in employers' NI would come not merely from 'Business' but directly from us as tax-payers and Council-tax-payers because we employ millions of local government employees and teachers. The cost of increased NI for those workers will be passed directly to us in the form of even higher council tax but I assume people such as 'Pea Eye' will only too happy to pay up! Sat 10 Apr 2010 22:17:29 GMT+1 Albert It is all a smokescreen that has emerged from the unwelcome recent tendency of governments to announce tax plans for the YEAR AFTER NEXT. If nothing else the credit crunch has taught that financial events happen suddenly and dramatically. Not so long ago the budget was used to announce plans for the coming year. How can anyone short of Nostradamus possibly know what the state of affairs will be a year ahead. Perhaps things will get better and Darling will be able to scrap the increase. Or perhaps they will get worse and Cameron will have to impose it or raise some other tax. Who knows? Stop the hoopla and concentrate on more concrete issues. Sat 10 Apr 2010 21:29:56 GMT+1 Andrew Lye If the NI increase goes through and does not have the effect that all the business leaders claim, will they be big enough to admit their error with a letter of apology signed by all of them?They promised doom and gloom with the minimum wage and were proven wrong there ....What makes them think they will be right this time? Sat 10 Apr 2010 21:20:27 GMT+1 tbwtg The relatively small NI contributions increase won't make much difference to big businesses or even small ones. Like the minimum wage, which they opposed in the past, and the 10p income tax rise on £100K+ which they're also complaining about, they're in a position to pay it and will exploit their market positions to get it back from everyone else. If we need to make up the financial deficiency of funds which the bankers have lost/stolen, we need to do it in all kinds of small ways to avoid catastrophic impacts in particular niche areas, there's no reason why NIC shouldn't be part of this. Longer term, it would be good to get more of the cash back from banks, bankers and financial services directly, through transaction taxes, windfall taxes, punitive taxation and confiscation, and it would be good to roll back the general NIC increase once circumstances permit. It would also be good to cut back government expenditure and staffing in areas which apparently haven't been touched, eg nuclear deterrence. Sat 10 Apr 2010 21:14:35 GMT+1 Bod If I have to pay an extra 1% NI contributions then it is only fair that unemployment benefit should be reduced by 1% for those who have been on it over 6 months so that its yet again not just the working people that have to pay more towards the deficit burden. Taxing everyone is fairer than taxing a particular group of the public, especially the working class. This will ensure that those who cant be bothered to work are also taxed. Sat 10 Apr 2010 21:08:18 GMT+1 lupus Labour have admitted they will also be cutting public sector jobs. They will wait until after the election, of course, to fill in the details. Clearly, the Conservatives have won the argument to freeze the Jobs Tax rise for middle-earners (higher earners will still face a rise).Note that Labour do not rule out a rise in VAT which is what Darling intended instead of the Jobs Tax rise that Brown and Balls have tried to saddle us with - apparently there was a bust up in cabinet and Darling had to back down to the Clunking Fist.The National Insurance Jobs Tax is an anachronism anyway, not being insurance etc. We all thought it went in to a fund for pensions or sick pay or something but Brown said he wants the rise, inter alia, to pay for the police force. If Brown wants to pay even more out to police our broken society he should pluck up the courage and ask us to vote for higher general taxation (or introduce measures to significantly reduce crime).Time to merge NI into income tax. Sat 10 Apr 2010 19:56:18 GMT+1 bill No it wont,business leaders are all Tories who hate paying 50% of their huge wages of which they dont deserve. Sat 10 Apr 2010 19:32:26 GMT+1 phill #1172 spot on mate you only have to look at the mess the private sector have made with all the privatised utilities. When did you get gas and electric bills going up by 45% in six months when it was publicly owned. The buses are absolutely terrible now they are no longer a public service just a massive money making racket, if you are unfortunate enough to not live on a popular route nowadays it's tough you'd better walk.All the privatised utillities now cost the user far more than they ever did when they were under public ownership, because their only concern is to make money for their share holders and the service users can go to hell.You just watch when the Tories get in they will finish off what they started and go for the big one and privatise the NHS they have always hated it because it's against everything the Tories stand for and by that I mean aiding the ordinary working man instead of the wealthy few at the top Sat 10 Apr 2010 19:18:13 GMT+1 Billythefirst 1151# ZG: If by collectivist you mean: has morals, wouldn't shaft everyone else in obsessive pursuit of materiel gain,doesn't believe that tax avoidance is the world's most noble pursuit, would like to think that such a thing as a caring society could actually exist, finds the vast bonuses that CEO'S / FS gambling fraternity award themselves regardless of performance to be obscene, then yes, I suppose I could be labeled collectivist. Anyhow you'll no doubt be relieved to know that my delicate sensibilities are just about holding up, especially now that I know we've more in common that I would have imagined.Have to say though, I was a little shocked by your latent Lib Dem sympathies.Your comfy with Cable's views on NI then? No problems with the Libdem stance on personal tax? Well, that's great as neither do I which is why I'll be voting for them irrespective of the local picture, although I would definitely consider a good quality independent with integrity.In fact it would be good to see an end to the cyclical boom and bust of the two party see saw and some meaningful reform of the electoral system.I wouldn't disagree with some of the points you make regarding areas for cutback such as the ID cards and ,yes, monies allocated to the public sector need to be spent/ managed more effectively.For example, Labour has expanded the number of bureaucrats introduced into the NHS by MT in pursuit of the mythical 'internal market' grail.This trend needs to be reversed. However, what I don't understand is how you could trust the role of Chancellor to an unproven Etonian twit whose contributions to debate and policy have, to date, been risible.I remain sceptical regarding the 'rabbit out of the hat' savings that you/the tories believe are so readily available simply by giving the public sector a good hiding and relying on small business to generate meaningful jobs to replace those lost.I'm also deeply cynical regarding the public face of the tories and believe very firmly that the groundswell of opinion within the party is massively at odds with it's public 'persona'.The tory party is sheltering a range of hard right malcontents with greater affinity to UKIP or US style republicanism - it's also quite worrying that 48 out of 206 new tory prospects in winnable seats have worked in the square mile - how on earth can we place trust in them? Sat 10 Apr 2010 18:45:10 GMT+1 notinmyname I think all the parties should have to explicitly state their budget, based on the current economic situation. Sure we all understand things will change, but this business of opposition parties not having to properly account for where the money will come from if NI does not rise is demeaning to voters. How can people make a considered decision on who to vote for when they don't know what they are voting for. Sat 10 Apr 2010 18:16:59 GMT+1 jam4now I'm aghast at the banal level of the contributions to this topic. Sat 10 Apr 2010 18:09:53 GMT+1 bertsprockett The NI rise and its possible repeal are jolly diversions for both Labour and the Conservatives, who are enjoying the generation of more heat than light over the issue. It is clear, because neither party is willing to reveal its post-election policy, that, within twelve months, whoever wins the election will slap a 3-5p rise on the standard rate of tax. The NI rise will pale into insignificance. Sat 10 Apr 2010 18:06:51 GMT+1 Have your say Rejected How many retail jobs pay over £20K per year. Probably not many. Sat 10 Apr 2010 18:04:21 GMT+1 Lynn from Sussex To 1172.People are considering a change of government because they are fed up with being lied to and ripped off by Labour.They are fed up with poor education standards.They are fed up with never seeing a police Officer.They are fed up with the yob culture fuelled by drink and drugs.They are fed up with prisoners being given early release from jail.They are fed up with being overtaxed and then being taxed again.They are fed up with benefit scoungers and single teenage mothers who see having children as a career choice.They are fed up with Labour's failings, full stop.Why don't you do a bit of sensible research into public spending cuts before saying anymore, all 3 parties are now saying, these will be inevitable.Labour has come closer this time to destroying the country than ever before.We have no credibility left just an enormous debt. Sat 10 Apr 2010 18:00:36 GMT+1 BombayWelsh I agree Brynley Davies [12. At 10:02am on 08 Apr 2010] - Sir Stuart Rose's organisation, and others like it, are well capable of making up the £7million NI increase. They'll simply pass on that increase to their customers - that's you and me, by the way!!! So that will be twice the NI increase for us then? Perhaps more. Sat 10 Apr 2010 17:38:28 GMT+1 Zool 492. At 5:23pm on 08 Apr 2010, Justin33 wrote:Labour fail to see the big picture - lower taxes mean more employment, more entrepreneurship, and eventually more revenues for the government because more people are in work and earning more. It seems all labour want to do if tax the private sector to pay for the public sector, when they should be cut. UK PLC at the moment is like a company with falling sales that is borrowing money to buy it's own products. It cant go on. --------------------------------------------------Nonsense. More employment? yeah right, what was it, nearly 4 million on the dole under the Tories?And another thing, who is going to provide the services the country needs to function if public spending is slashed? The private sector? Your having a laugh, nobody would be able to afford those services if they were given to the private sector and I wouldn't even trust them to provide a decent level of service. Worst still, I can see the service industry shipped overseas under the Tories.The problem is, people are considering a change of government just for the sake of change and that is very dangerous. Things aren't great at the moment, my concern is that there are loads of people around who have never known anything except a Labour government so they think Labour are terrible. Well, I'm here to tell you and anyone else for that matter, things were much much worse under the Tories. Sat 10 Apr 2010 16:42:56 GMT+1 Doozie HAVE YOU NOTICE HOW SMUG AND DISMISSIVE CONSERVATIVE AND LABOUR ARE OF THE LIB DEMS ! I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEIR LYING JAWS DROP IF SANE AND COMMON SENSE VOTERS GET A LIBDEM INTO GOVERNMENT . Sat 10 Apr 2010 15:47:14 GMT+1 ian Mr Osborne and Mr Cameron keep telling me that we are all in this together, i take it from his letter of high powered bosses against the NI rise, which he draws out like a gun, that we are all in it together apart from buisneses which it seems they are not expected to contribute anymore,(same old tories). For a company to pay the new rise they would have to pay above £20000 a year for the employee, this means that the extra contribution for the employer would be about £15 per month,would a £20000 a year job not exist because of £3.75p a week. Why doesn't Mr Cameron ask Lord Ashcroft for the £112 million in tax he has avoided paying over the last 10 years, i think he might not, so its down to me again it appears and many more like me. Sat 10 Apr 2010 15:15:11 GMT+1 ThoughtCrime It's obvious to anyone with half a brain that making it more expensive to employ people will discourage those who would employ people. It is equally obvious that, when jobs are mobile (e.g. call centres) making it more expensive to employ people here simply means the advantages of locations like Manila and Bangalore are increased.What we desperately need is a government to introduce policies that will encourage companies to return jobs to England, and that means making it cheaper and easier to deal with payrolls. Labour talk about helping the economy while doing the exact opposite. Sat 10 Apr 2010 14:24:06 GMT+1 Mysterious The 6 billion pounds that Gordon Brown refers to is a drop in the ocean in the big scheme of things. Does he not realise the abyssmal state of affairs his handling of the economy has landed us in. Sir Stuart Rose can take up Alistair Darling's position tomorrow. I am sure he will make a better job of handling our finances.Today Marks and Spencer,tomorrow 11 Downing Street. Bring it on. Goodbye New Labour. Sat 10 Apr 2010 13:43:02 GMT+1 wishiwasandrewmarr Labour's NI increase will not have much effect on private sector jobs. (1) It protects the jobs of the low paid by not affecting people earning less than £20,000 - which surely includes many people employed by Stuart Rose's M&S. (2)The extra amounts payable per person are very small. (3) It doesn't come in until April 2011 which should be after recovery is well set in and private sector employers can afford it. (4)If it is not brought in, many companies will just spend the extra money on bigger pension pots for top executives like Fred Goodwin, or to pay higher wages - M&S has just committed £80m to a bonus pool for its 78,000 staff: it could afford the NI rise even this year. BUT Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson should NOT have said top executives were deceived. The truth is top executives as individuals have been offered so much by Conservatives that it would be extraordinary if they hadn't been subconsciously looking for a good 'public policy' excuse to come out in support of Cameron (e.g. IHT threshold up to £1m/£2m if married, ability to pass on their huge tax-and-NI-assisted pension pots to their heirs plus the hope that the old pension tax system that gave them such huge tax breaks will be restored or not reduced further - even that the 50% tax rate might be cut). But if Cameron cares so much about the NI rise why didn't he come out more strongly and get the support of these executives when it was first announced over a year ago? Surely because he wanted to store it up to use to get people to vote for him in the election. I don't think the NI rise (or the 50% tax rate) was the best way of dealing with the deficit. This would have been to bring our pension tax breaks for high earners into line with other countries' (which would raise tens of billions). But it isn't the worst either: that would have been to raise VAT for the poor. Sat 10 Apr 2010 13:30:56 GMT+1 The Ghosts of John Galt 1149. At 11:46am on 10 Apr 2010, waofy wrote://Hehehe, it makes me think of this..."We are the MPs who say...NI! NI NI NI NI!"///That's quite hilarious - You are inspiring - pretty much sums up the whole election for me! Ni! Sat 10 Apr 2010 13:27:54 GMT+1 richard plackett People seem unable to accept that public spending needs to be cut. Can anyone explain to me how private sector productivity has increased 20% over the last 3 years and public sector productivity has fallen 3%. Simply reversing that 3% would save £20bn - far more than the £12bn the Conservatives are talking about. The private sector has been forced by economic reality to tighten its belt and the public sector now needs to do the same. Everyone encountering the public sector these days knows in their heart that there are too many forms, too much "health and safety", not enough nurses and not enough teachers. We deserve better from the government who spends our money - it is our money after all!!!! Sat 10 Apr 2010 13:16:47 GMT+1 MizzJShaw Of course NI rises will harm the economy. Businesses will just hire less people, more people will be out of work, and the rest of us will have to pay more taxes to pay their benefits. It was a rather silly idea in the first place, as most people already pay to much to support the mass benefits system, and the huge public sector. Sadley, the state of our economy is being covered up, so Gordon Brown can try and con people inti voting for him. Sat 10 Apr 2010 13:09:05 GMT+1 Steve "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."Because he knows the truth is paying off thousands of public sector workers, ask yourself how do private companies make savings in difficult times, you've got two main options, pay cuts or pay offs, thats all this is. Labour are favouring the pay cut option (everyone pays a little bit out of their pay) to generate more cash as they want to keep as many people in work as possible, the Tories are favouring pay off option (not replacing people who leave and paying off people deemed unproductive and too much of an overhead) to lessen expenditure.Theres no winner either way, you either has a little less money every month or you have the same money but the guy down the road from you, or even you yourself could be out of work. Sat 10 Apr 2010 13:05:29 GMT+1 mac Anyone employed in the public sector who votes tory is voting themselves out of a job. Sat 10 Apr 2010 12:58:37 GMT+1 mac It must be obvious to everyone now that the tory party is just the mouthpiece of big business. Sat 10 Apr 2010 12:56:37 GMT+1 dan I think Labour have the right policy. Everybody has to accept that we will have to pay higher taxes. We should stop moaning, stop striking and just get on with it. Sat 10 Apr 2010 12:29:15 GMT+1 LondonHarris 1069. At 9:00pm on 09 Apr 2010, coyb1530 wrote:1048. At 7:53pm on 09 Apr 2010, LondonHarris wrote:1003. At 5:15pm on 09 Apr 2010, coyb1530 wrote:875. At 12:58pm on 09 Apr 2010, Matt_Hertfordshire1 wrote:I find it highly amusing and a very Tory take on the world when David Cameron states "When people leave their jobs in the public sector we won't fill the vacancy". Huh??? So basically that equates to less people getting piled with more work to do.--------------------------------------------------------Yes indeed, Mr Cameron.Now lets start by NOT re-filling any of the pending Public vacancies for 550 MPs' at Westminister.Am I going to fast??? - Please David pay attention and do try and keep up with a messenger, or Boris.This equates to NO MPs' with nothing to do, and so therefore NO further Ripping - Off from the Public Purse.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Actually Mr Cameron is right and I am the proof. I am one of the thousands of people that Mr Brown promised would be cut from the PUBLIC Purse! What happened? I lost my job and was put into something called the Re-Deployment Pool on full wages, people have been in this pool for 3 and more years. Yes that is right, people have been told there is not a job for them but still paid a wage. These are the people Mr Cameron is talking about, they (me) can be made redundant as a one off and the vacancy (because it does not and should not exist) not filled.I am sorry to burst the public bubble on this and whistle blow but it was about time the record was put straight! Gordon Brown in essence has misled the Public and the House. We are talking hundreds of people here maybe thousands (eventually) all with no job but still paid on average £25,000. That is the true Fantasy Mr Darling etc!----------------------------------------------------------With NOW all the Political Parties excepting the fact that those deemed to be Working in the future "Public - Sectors" with see a gradual reduction in the overall size of their Staffing levels, for while the term "Public - Sector" covers a vast Area of both Local & National Government Departmental responsibility across the Board, from Local Authorities to the Civil Service etc:, I now wonder in return HOW and WHERE mainly in the Rural Areas, Public Sector bodies and Quangos alike are going to spear-head the drive for Work-Place based Training for so-called "New" Employment places to counter-balance the pending effect of further rising Unemployment.At best, what may happen is that those that WILL lose their Jobs in the "Public - Sector" after the next General Election WITHOUT these Post and vacancies being re-advertised in-house, may well see some of the same future Unemployed being offered a Training - Place upon a Turn - Style Course [ perhap, - for up to a maximum of Six - Months ], again for perhap doing what was once their OWN Full - Time Employment positions before redundancy.All this equates to at best is Cheap - Labour while being paid State - Benefits, if you can find it at ALL in the future that is. Sat 10 Apr 2010 12:26:55 GMT+1 owive NI (employers contribution) is simply a tax that discourages businesses from taking on staff. Stupid at any time, regardless of boom or recession.All NI should be merged into income tax. Result: Simplification and, above all, transparent honesty, where everyone can see just how much tax they are paying. Sat 10 Apr 2010 11:52:10 GMT+1 SteveB Does it seem fair? Possibly not?Is it necessary? Yes?Basically it is getting a payment out of the worker and the employer, so efficient in terms of raising money, and raising money to clear off our debt is vital.I don't see how creating "efficiencies" in the government is going to come close to reducing our debt, and will probably lead to redundacies and thus reducing taxes paid whilst increasing benefit payments!Better to spread the debt across everyone and take most from the rich and least from the poor, as well as getting businesses to pay as well. I'm an average person so no idea if it will really help or hinder, but seems a logical step(even if it isn't the best). Sat 10 Apr 2010 11:44:03 GMT+1 zzgrark Roy Dorset wrote:"The Cat is out of the bag. Big business are only interested in their own profits so they are going to support the cons, so that they can line their own pockets. This is reported in todays Independent. The Big Businesses are not being loyal to this country. The rest of us will have to pay for the state the U.K. is in, due to the greed of Big Business and Banking sectors. Where is their loyalty, all they see is the bottom line and their own Fat Cat life styles all we are hearing now is them squealing at how we will not have any jobs if there is an increase in N.I."Look at it another way. Why should any of us (whether businesses or you or me) have to pay more tax to support a frankly overblown state sector? How about telling Gordon Brown to control his incontinent spending instead? Public spending this year is budgeted to hit £704bn. How about saving a bit of money by scrapping the 100s of £millions in aid to China or ending the ID card scheme or the dozens of other areas where huge chunks of your money are wilfully wasted? At least it would be a start.Businesses have been cutting back on costs for the past two years to survive this recession. Plenty of people working in them, from top to bottom, have been taking pay freezes, pay cuts, or redundancies. And if the NI increase is scrapped, companies will still pay higher taxes anyway, because the increased profits accruing will incur more corporation tax. And do yourself a favour. If you are going to sound off against business, at least do so from an informed point of view. Go to your local library and have a scan through the Financial Times a few days a week, rather than repeating the partisan nonsense you read in the Independent (& before you accuse me of bias, the FT leader column has advised us to vote Labour in the previous 3 elections). Sat 10 Apr 2010 11:39:46 GMT+1 Gordon Flannery Hello ZZGRARK,You are correct to say the opinion polls do show that the Tories are miles in front of Labour. I do not know about the betting sites sorry!I would like to make a prediction, The opinion polls this time next week will show the two parties neck and neck because in my assessment the last 48 hours has seen the Tories exposed and no matter how hard Mr Cameron works next week he will have to rely more and more on his shadow team. Mrs May and Mr Willits have been used this past 24 hours to announce new policies and the more that this happens people will realise that actually there is very little substance in the Conservative plans. And in my opinion the Labour strategy has been to force the Conservatives to bring out the shadow team to shore up Mr Cameron as he starts to struggle to keep his momentum and as we all saw last night Mrs May had a shocker announcing plans she had very little understanding about and the interviewer clearly embarrassed her on the detail. It is never wise to predict an outcome with so many weeks to go but my gut feeling is that the momentum in the BLUE corner is slowing and lets just see what the actual opinion polls says on May 6th.Nice to meet you, this is my first foray into this sort of thing and I look forward to reading many many other opinions and views of the coming weeks.All the best Gordon Sat 10 Apr 2010 11:36:47 GMT+1 weallmustvote Cuts WILL come for sure, The job losses we need is not in the private sector so the NI increase in an unnecessary burden on jobs. Let me give you an example why I believe that David Cameron can make not only the savings he is bragging about but much more. My trade is Work Study, it is in my Blood, I have done it for a long time and I cannot aviod looking for, and finding savings in what ever surroundings I am in.I have visited several hospitals all over, and I park myself in a strategic place for 5 minutes and write the activities going on around me. Excluding cleaning staff, in the best case 41 staff, Doctors, Nurses, Admin etc. walked past. Doing nothing but walking up and down corridors, the worst case there were 76 people of similar stature, just walking several with clip boards, doing absolutely nothing. The average of all the Hospitals together is 52.3 persons per 5 minute spell (any time but mainly daytime) that equates to 5020.8 people doing nothing in an 8 hour period. Forgive me if I seem a little too simplistic but even if you half the number 2510.4 is much to many. Take into consideration that "anything can be moved from one place to another as many times as you like and you will not add a penny value to it. So the NHS one of the largest single saving centres where savings can be made, in hospital efficiency just pouring tax payers £ in will do nothing to improve this situation, Sat 10 Apr 2010 11:31:06 GMT+1 Anonymouse 1122. At 08:51am on 10 Apr 2010, TSBradshaw wrote:How are we supposed to judge the strength of opinion? Before the needless change to HYS it was possible to see where the weight of opinion lay, something that cannot now be done.Was this because the collective opinion too often ran counter to the BBC's own views?_________________________________________________________________________I strongly disagree. Prior to the changes the BBC forum was plagued by minority extreme right wing groups (affiliated with a certain party), who were registered with multiple IDs. This is not where the weight of opinion lay. You only need to think back, to recall that the "most recommended" for "person of the year" was Nick Griffin! However, I would argue it was potentially dangerous, because gullible people (sheep) who need to be led, would no doubt follow what they considered to be the consensus. For an alternative (more reliable) method of getting a feel for how people are inclined to vote. Just keep an eye on the various poll trackers. Sat 10 Apr 2010 11:23:04 GMT+1 zzgrark Gordon Flannery wrote:"I have read hundreds of these comments now and the results are clear that the vast majority conclude that the Tories have this wrong."Not according to the opinion polls and the political betting sites. Sat 10 Apr 2010 11:00:17 GMT+1 zzgrark Billythefirst wrote:"ZZZZZZZZZZZZZgrark - are you absolutely sure your not a member of one of the Ashcroft sponsored blog teams drowning the net with your oh so predictable Brown sold gold and pumped money into the Public Sector whinge routines.You really don't come across as an undecided voter."Yes I can assure you I am not a member of any such 'blog team', as you put it. And if you prefer not to recognise the facts re Brown's borrowing and spending, despite the freely available evidence from ONS and other sources, but prefer to rest easy in your delusion, that is your concern.As for voting intentions, I have no affiliation with any party, but my imperative is to remove Labour. I would happily vote either Tory or LibDem to achieve this. In my area there is a Labour incumbent with a c.2500 majority over the Tory in the last election. The LibDem & the rest were nowhere. Therefore tactically I shall vote Tory, but would happily vote LibDem in different circumstances.As for Labour - never again, I'm afraid.I do hope this forthright response doesn't upset your delicate collectivist sensibilities. Sat 10 Apr 2010 10:57:57 GMT+1 richard plackett Well if Vince Cable can explain to me how he plans to finance the public sector other than through encouraging and taxing private businesses I would be interested to know how. Unfortunately creating an anti-private sector culture in this country is ultimately the best way to ensure we have no tax receipts to fund our public services. Vince Cable with his comments today has exploded the myth that he would be a good chancellor. Anyone who does not encourage business leaders to set up their businesses in this country would be a disaster for Britain. This is why the treasury advised Alastair Darling not to put up national insurance and why Vince Cable's comments today, while no doubt good politics, are disastrous economics Sat 10 Apr 2010 10:57:17 GMT+1 waofy Hehehe, it makes me think of this..."We are the MPs who say...NI! NI NI NI NI!"On a serious note though though, it should just be left alone to pay for pensions, not tackle the country's debt. Sat 10 Apr 2010 10:46:50 GMT+1 midnite70 Vince cable summed up the business leaders today who came out to support this policy as "Nauseating".And before this gets attacked he was the chief economist at shell so was a business leader himself.I think his comment was spot on. Sat 10 Apr 2010 10:37:50 GMT+1 Gordon Flannery I have read hundreds of these comments now and the results are clear that the vast majority conclude that the Tories have this wrong. I was struck by a question posed in that no one is coming forward with an alternative to any of the plans being propossed.So I thought I would set some out and lets see:1. One of tax on Business leaders - as with footballers who are fined they get a months salary docked and they do not bat an eyelid. Lets do the same for the TOP 10,000 Business leaders - I read that one of these chaps earns hundreds of thousands a month so lets say average is £20,000 a month levy would be £200 MILLION that could be used to FIX all the pot holes in the UK. 2. Property owners - Any property that is valued above 1 million to have a monthly tax on any MORTGAGE outstanding. That includes Business premises! The view being that large corporations, fund managers and very rich people are making vast sums of money on borrowing against equity to buy up new property and passing that on to the shareholders or to private wealth. This at a time when ordinary people are being forced to pay much inflated mortgage rates becuase we do not have the buying power these rich people have. I clearly cannot put a sum on this however I believe this is a multi TRILLION pound industry and would raise billions for the treasury at first. The knock on effect would be that these people would stop borrowing cheap money and pay real money from reserves and that would be money back into the economy. This in turn would force the BANKS to lend real money to Business who are investing to grow and would employ real people to create wealth to pay back the money borrowed. It is a clear win win win!3. Energy - I believe that most of our utilities are now owned by private foreign companies and that as a result the wealth created from these companies are being taken abroad. I would put a levy on PROFIT that is taken abroad from utility companies and that this money should be saved in a fund until it can be used to buy back ownership. I would then SELL on those companies to UK companies with a clear undertaking that they can never again be sold to forign companies to rip the UK public again. This would be a long term plan of course but in the end would see billions put into the Treasury in interest as the fund grows and then billions as the companies are sold.I will leave it at those and it took only 10 minutes to think about these, clearly there are millions of others and we all have some wacky idea that with some thinking could be real opportunities.Clearly this is just a bit of fun but the serious message is lets start to think for ourselves Sat 10 Apr 2010 10:35:17 GMT+1 Matt Greenslade Where is the 12 Billion Cameron? It's not the sort of sum you can accidentally lose down the back of the sofa is it. 'Oh I'm sure it was in my pocket earlier it must have slipped out'. Perhaps the Conservatives should promise to invest in all schoolkids learning elementary maths. Sat 10 Apr 2010 10:32:53 GMT+1 webboffin I thought income tax was a tax on jobs. Sat 10 Apr 2010 10:31:35 GMT+1 Enrique Surely after a (world-wide) recession as bad as this one, inevitably we will all need to contribute towards reducing the public spending deficit, including employers. People are deluded if they think otherwise. Sat 10 Apr 2010 10:29:47 GMT+1 Lucy Lastic The Cat is out of the bag. Big business are only interested in their own profits so they are going to support the cons, so that they can line their own pockets. This is reported in todays Independent. The Big Businesses are not being loyal to this country. The rest of us will have to pay for the state the U.K. is in, due to the greed of Big Business and Banking sectors. Where is their loyalty, all they see is the bottom line and their own Fat Cat life styles all we are hearing now is them squealing at how we will not have any jobs if there is an increase in N.I. Sat 10 Apr 2010 10:28:50 GMT+1 kb666 hinder. this country cannot handle these tax and NI increases every year, half the country have either lost their jobs or had to tak pay cuts or have not had pay rises for years. all these rises in outgoings will restrict how much the tax payer can afford to spend each month, it will cause health problems because people wont be able to afford to pay increasing fuel bills and enough food to suvive healthily. Sat 10 Apr 2010 10:20:19 GMT+1 Iorek-the-Fair I trust Brown with the economy. The OECD say he's looked after it and we'll beat all our competitors, except Canada. If Brown believes this increase is needed then so do I.It is obvious that the mega rich boses of 60 companies want the increase scrapped, but not even Cameron will do that, not all of it. He knows the increase is needed just the same as Brown, but Cameron is afraid to say so. Sat 10 Apr 2010 09:58:15 GMT+1 lordbrecon NI rises are fairer than VAT rises which would hit seniors and the poor in society.It looks as if the tories are running true to form by not caring about the underdog in society.I hope that if Labour get back in that they will be more caring about the cuts that they will make and take trouble to help and retrain the folk losing their jobs. The tories just threw people on the scrapheap the last time that they were in. Sat 10 Apr 2010 09:49:51 GMT+1 The Ghosts of John Galt A red herring! A distraction! A 1% expense should have very little impact on a business! What kind of business are these 'leaders' engaged in - if a 1% rise in NI is a serious threat to the business model? Wow - we must be dealing in irrational illusions created to frighten the electorate! An emotive issue 'job creation' but those mystics of materialism keep outsourcing our jobs to Asia anyway - despite continued lowering of Corporation tax and continued welfare for the wealthy business elites! MMmmmm what kind of genius is their business strategy - outsourcing, cheap labour, debt and massive bonuses, but welfare and health care for their employees - now that's just a bit too expensive!!!! Sat 10 Apr 2010 09:48:36 GMT+1 Multi Speed It took a while and now, today, we see the true understanding of what Liberal economics is all about.Mr Cable has eventually said that the businesses who criticised the planned rise in National Insurance are "utterly nauseating". The point that these business men are saying is that any recovery must be business led - otherwise it is not a true recovery. All money that goes to the Government coffers has to be generated by business and this tax rise is one, of many, that the New Labour and now, the Liberals, want;to fund their spending excesses.The only way that this country can be great again is to trade our way out of recession. It would seem that the Liberals are rather more aligned with Labour than they make out. Voting Liberal is voting Labour!And as for the Liberal rant about a hidden VAT bombshell - surprisingly they do not mention about their LAT. A Local Area Tax will have a much bigger impact on the rural economy than any hike in VAT will have. Can you imagine Local Government setting LAT and the consequences of Traders within a high LAT area compared to someone, possibly on the other side of the road who has a lower LAT. This is bonkers.LAT is a time bomb ready to explode, just be careful where you tread on the way to the polling booth! Sat 10 Apr 2010 09:47:20 GMT+1 Jonathan Weakley I think that what is important here is that the Conservatives have provoked a strong reaction from Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians. It is not the answer to the particular question that is significant her, rather the fact that the other parties were not expecting this and are frightened by the number of important businesses who are giving support to the Tories plans. This must be significant. My mind is now firmly made up that I will vote Tory. I feel it is the only sensible option for me and my families future as I run a business myself and I have suffered greatly from the actions of Gordon Brown and the Labour Party over the last 13 years. Perhaps if the Tories win I will have more peace of mind that the economy is being run for the benefit of those who work really hard to contribute to it. Sat 10 Apr 2010 09:33:12 GMT+1 BAZ If every major business in the country manages to cut waste and inefficiency then why should the public sector not do the same? I see no value in continuing to spend on government waste. The public sector spends rather than generates wealth and cannot, therefore. contribute positively to the economy. Sat 10 Apr 2010 09:22:05 GMT+1 joshua goldblum Yes but only married couples and not civil partnerships.The money should be raised by stopping overseas payments to foreign countries and peoples, whom have relatives abroad. Sat 10 Apr 2010 09:10:42 GMT+1 Bob the Grump Well, coming from people who have made money out of this recession is a bit much. also who was it who got us into this the banks, anyway the country is in a hole and no one is telling the real truth.If you are to get out of recession then something has to pay for it.No party has given any real truthfull answer ot what they will do.Labour - not reallyConservatives - too slick and like a used car salesman .Lib dem no chanceThe only one who speaks sense is Vince Cable, but what chance has he of being in power.The country is in a mess and to blame the govenrment is just stupid, it is more than that and guess what when the Tories are in.More of the same to protect those who are bank rolling them.No one has the guts to tell us the truth they are all cowards and like the gernals in the first world war. Lions led by donkeys which sums this election up. Sat 10 Apr 2010 09:03:21 GMT+1 Bob the Grump Sat 10 Apr 2010 08:51:57 GMT+1 Kevin G Will National Insurance increase help or hinder the economy?It seems that the businesses don't like the idea thats for sure, but we do need to get more income into the public purse. Not only do we need to get more income, but we need to get more value from the income we spend. This is the problem, we talk in terms of cut, cutting costs, whereas what I want to hear is that we are getting as much value from each pound of tax as possible. I have often wondered what value do we get from a tax pound? 10p in the pound? 30? I bet its not much more? That is what I want, more value and if this means that some jobs are lost then fine, but let them be jobs that are costing lots, but add no value. If you need to raise NI or any other tax burden, explain the value that I will get then maybe the arguments that are being voiced will disappear. Finally, I am very concerned that the cause of our problem, the banks! Are not being seen as a way of getting us out of the problem. Surely a well regulated and profitable bank (which we own) will provide a nice return? We should be looking for banks to invest in Britons industry, driving economic recovery? Or am I over simplifying the problem? Sometime the cause can be the cure. Like injecting the flu will protect you from the flu... I am simplifying this aren't I? Sat 10 Apr 2010 08:51:37 GMT+1 Chalky Of course raising NI will NOT help us recover the economy as fewer people will be employed. If GB doesn`t realise this he is just not fit to continue in the shambles which we call government. Business leaders actually drive the economy - --for heavens sake listen to them Sat 10 Apr 2010 08:49:35 GMT+1 richard plackett I would beg readers to put politics to one side for a moment and consider economics. The UK is beginning to recover from the worst recession since the second world war. During the recession public spending was increased to shield us a little and now stands at a historically high proportion of the economy. Put another way, the government spends a higher percentage of your income than it has ever done. Tax receipts from the private sector are nowhere near enough to pay for it which is why we have such a huge deficit.The only way for the deficit to fall without massive cuts in public expenditure (far greater than any politician has admitted) is for ptivate sector employment to rise. This reduces benefit payments and increases tax receipts. All three parties are relying on this for over half of their deficit reduction plans. It is therefore crucial that we create as many jobs as possible in this country and we should be doing all we can to make this happen. Other countries in a similar mess, such as Ireland, already have much lower levels of business tax than we do. We do not want to give companies a reason to move to Ireland or elsewhere because the UK economy will be finished if they do and schools and hospitals will close, never mind "efficieny savings".Therefore it is crucial we stay on good terms with business leaders (Vince Cable's comments this morning are incredibly unhelpful) and also crucial we do not put up the cost of employing people in this country. WHOEVER WINS PLEASE DON'T PUT UP NATIONAL INSURANCE. It is the worst possible tax to increase at the current time. Sat 10 Apr 2010 08:43:00 GMT+1 peter National Insurance or not I think Gordon /David/Nick / Et Al should be judged on their record to date. Problem is we only have one record to go on and not a glowing one at that. Or are we prepared to give another team a go in the hope they will be better than the last one.Basically we,as a Country, are in big trouble. The financial community are taking an alost perverse pleasure in the troubles and woes of Greece but the UK has as many problems and whenthe spotlight finaly falls on us the financial wolves will take no prisoners.Party politics in the Uk have in the past 100 years been divided by class which is really now such old hat it should be consigned to the political dustbin.The Labour party are the ones keen to perpetuate it and they really need a new songsheet.We are all in this together, no one wants to see their standard of living reduced or their taxes go up its a ntural human reaction. We all work hard and we don't like to see our taxes wasted on quangos, millenium domes,wars we didn't want ,government dept waste and people treating social security as a career option. We all want a return to sensible policies,less red tape, less Governemnt interference in every thing we do and are. The ones in power promise to reduce waste,which begs the question why didn't you do it before now. The ones wanting power offer to reduce it but do not tell us how they will do it. In my experience Teams that create a mess have never been very good at clearing it up afterwards,they have run out of ideas otherwise they would have cleared it up before it became an issue. So a fresh start is needed, the choice is yours. Sat 10 Apr 2010 08:42:49 GMT+1 joanne If the NI rise doesn't take place, then we're in no worse state than we are at the moment - it's not taking any money out of the economy, it's just not putting any EXTRA money in. Sat 10 Apr 2010 08:35:51 GMT+1 jamie I am absolutely pig sick of the conservative party and others bashing people on benefits. I am desperate for a job and I am actively seeking employment about 10 jobs a day I apply for. And hopefully I will have a job very soon one that I will love and enjoy. Who am I kidding there are no jobs out there and the ones that are is cold calling sales that pay you silly money so to when you actually pay your bills you have no money left after it to actually live. What is going on in this country that we can actively persecute people because they have no jobs and yet they want to increase National Insurance to put more out of work this is all wrong. TO START AN ELECTION TELLING PEOPLE VOTE US WE WILL PUT YOU OUT OF A JOB IS SCANDALIOUS. LISTEN TO ME all you that want to be voted for I want a job STOP making me feel as though im robbing your granny just because I want to claim £64.00 a week. TELL YOU WHAT WHY DONT YOU MP’S START LIVEING ON BENEFITS SEE HOW YOU COPE. I understand people in work getting annoyed at people sponging from benefits its wrong but I feel when I claim any money not only can I not cope with the pittance they give you to live on but I’m made to feel when I go to sign on by the staff in the office that I’m actually taking this out of their own pocket. I have worked a lot in my wee life so what I apply for in jobseekers allowance is what I have given in to this system. Not only that we pay TAX on everything money we get in, money we give out, money we spend to buy things, actually it feels like we spend more on TAX than the breath we take. Yes the system needs sorted but £64.00 a week is way not enough to live on when you have a house to run. I’m sorry for taking money out your pockets but at moment I have no choice if you the MP’s feel I’m fleecing you here is a few things you can do to make it better• Make more good jobs out there and by that I mean ones that you can actually feel good about doing • Lower your own wage so we pay less tax and stop fleecing the system • Stop persecuting people just because they are less fortunate that you to have a job• Treat people with respect and maybe they will want to do more to get a job • STOP ASSUMING PEOPLE ARE LAYING ABOUT LOOKING FOR WORK BECAUSE WE DO LOOK • Rise the money we get on benefits because this is like living in the dark ages • Look at more ideas not just for the young as I’m 38 I’m just slightly past the area you seem to be wanting to address • TRY HELPING PEOPLE AND STOP JUDGING WHEN WE CANT GET A JOB I say all this because I find the plans to address the benefit system maybe a good idea but this should be done in a good way and not just to massage the figures that the parties have so to look good You have to remember there is more to being in government than just looking good and taking money ie£60000 a yearSTOP MAKEING ME FEEL AS THOUGH IM SPONGING FROM THE SYSTEM BECAUSE IM NOT Sat 10 Apr 2010 08:27:36 GMT+1 dixie National insurance increase will help the economy. Sat 10 Apr 2010 08:20:23 GMT+1 Daisy Chained #1008 coybe1530"But you don't say what happens when NI keeps rising (18 percent up since 97 so far), I think you will find that a huge chunk of that 80 percent you quote in your orginal post will be businesses moving abroad."Oh so that must be same "chunk of the 80%" that moved here because of low wages, easy employment termination, and lax regulation. Now let me see who put those "rules" in place. Sat 10 Apr 2010 08:11:11 GMT+1 Hilda Williams Tory ministers when in government have always blamed unions for any increase in costs on living standards,when workers go on strike,employers blame governments for not doing enough for both employer or worker.If a factory closes down the government steps in to help the worker and his or her family,the employer moves out of the picture and runs for cover in some tropical climate,leaving the worker and family in the care of the government.If the tories get to No 10 the process of cutting back financial aid to areas of social decline will begin and many people will find themselves out of work. The further away from central government people are the worse off they will be.History repeats what has been the practice of every tory government since time began,to plane down the worker by taking money out of his pocket rather put money in,do not forget the worker and his family are the ones called to arms when needed like thatcher's invasion of the Falklands and the present day occupation of British troops in Iraq and Afghansistan . The needs of the nation is best placed in the hands of the worker and his family,to rule them out would be an insult to their very existence.The great majority of workers eat bread they do not eat caviar,most of whom know the difference between the price of a loaf of bread compared to the price of a bowl of caviar.The tory policy on the British worker and his income is caste in stone long before the election takes place. Sat 10 Apr 2010 08:04:57 GMT+1 Brian Seage A 1% increase in NI is not a 1% increase in tax. When NI increases from 12% to 13% as Labour want, that is close to a 10% rise in this tax. It is called National Insurance Contributions because it appears more palatable to pay a contribution to health care and social security, but it is just another tax and not ring fenced for its original intended use.By not raising NI the Tories will not remove £7billion from the economy. They will take £7billion out of the very inefficient government controlled element of the economy and leave it in the pockets of voters who will spend it wisely and efficiently in the well run private sector of the economy. This creates real jobs through choice and efficiency in spending. Sat 10 Apr 2010 07:51:52 GMT+1 TSBradshaw How are we supposed to judge the strength of opinion? Before the needless change to HYS it was possible to see where the weight of opinion lay, something that cannot now be done.Was this because the collective opinion too often ran counter to the BBC's own views? Sat 10 Apr 2010 07:51:44 GMT+1 please_sir We live in a global village. The NI increase raises the cost of employment, reduces competitiveness and exports jobs. It's as simple as that.But a more important point: Brown has bloated the public sector at the expense of the private sector. The jobs created, which are wealth-consuming rather than wealth-creating, come with the gold-plated, unaffordable final salary pensions that the rest of us have to pay for. I note that no party has definitively said that that process will be reformed. So not only do we get to pay for an over-sized public sector today, we also get to pay for it for the foreseeable future! Sat 10 Apr 2010 07:10:35 GMT+1 thegreatignored I've done some research of my own on this which I've been trying to get published. I found that no businessman voted to put up his own tax and a similar result was obtained when I asked turkeys about Christmas. During the last election I asked some highly-respected and successful entrepreneurs with thousands of employees whether they would vote to reduce their bonuses. Not one of the bankers did. I am hopeful my story will now be splashed all over the front pages of the press. Sat 10 Apr 2010 06:58:55 GMT+1 astronomerroyal Brown and Cameron are both right.A hike in NI will affect the productive sector and damage the job prospects of millions, however in the public sector the increase will just be passed on in higher bills.We need a small government to get out of our faces so we can make the profits to drag us out of this mess.National government has handed unwarranted powers to local authorities which have become far too self important feifdoms. This is where the cull should start. Sat 10 Apr 2010 04:18:08 GMT+1 Samuel Odekunle jimparlett made a comment about the percentage of GDP spent increasing from 37% in 1997 to 44% in 2008, proposing that this increase was staggering. I'd like to ask you have you considered:1. the Population changes within this 11 year period2. Inflation, exchange and interest rates3. the size of the labour forcein reference to point 1, remember the UK has aslo experienced a massive bump up in immigration in the same period you are talking about. Sat 10 Apr 2010 03:11:26 GMT+1 Samuel Odekunle While i'm not a labour Supporter. on the National insurance issue i believe they are very much on point. I have seen and heard several comments against this 1% increase but of all these comments I've hardly seen anyone lay down an alternative means of raising the money needed to clear the current deficit.Secondly, several posts have Wrongly mentioned that Gordon Brown led this country into recession. It seems as though many have forgotten that Gordon brown was one of the most active world leaders who set out a plan for recovery when the global recession first started, and we should also remember that even though he was prime minister during the recession, This particular recession was not a result of direct government interference in the economy but rather the bad credit culture that exists in the developed countries. The recession started when the US housing market collapsed.. think back people!Going back to the original topic, in economics, there are two vital factors in the operation of government - government spending and revenuewhether you like it or not, the money government spends comes from mostly from taxation such things as VAT, NI, Customs duty, import and export Tax etc. If the government does not increase NI, then something will have to go up. for the most part this will be VAT as it is the only other tax Scheme that stands to generate more income for the government conclude, I strongly believe that the 1% increase in National Insurance is an important step in aiding economic growth, however this should be completmented with reductions in welfare expenditure, which is another area where alot of government funds are been wasted. and finally, something needs to be done about the present military commitments, military spending has also increased drastically in the last couple years for obvious reasons. Sat 10 Apr 2010 02:54:49 GMT+1 cruiskeen It's all smoke and mirrors. 495. At 5:27pm on 08 Apr 2010, TOTALISER wrote:On the face of it any tax increase is unwelcome by those who will have to pay it. But in this instance the exchequer needs the cash to pay off the debt used to bail out the bankers,so if it does,nt come from NI it will have to come from somewhere else, more VAT anyone ? Every single person in the land pays tax. Either directly, indirectly or both. The exchequer is simply doing what every exchequer before him has done, take from the poor and give to the rich!. And while most of us would'nt mind paying a bit extra for good public services, some of us are angry about paying for something we are not getting. Our `Criminal Justice System`!. Let's face it, if the tax payer funded criminal justice system was operating properly many of our politicians and their banker buddies would be in jail where they belong, and I would happily pay a bit extra to keep them there. Sat 10 Apr 2010 01:37:35 GMT+1 Billythefirst This post has been Removed Sat 10 Apr 2010 01:09:36 GMT+1 Billythefirst 940. At 3:02pm on 09 Apr 2010, KarenZ wrote:The UK is overtaxed so any increase in taxation is detrimental to the economy because it is cheaper to live and employ people overseas. So businesses move more overseas and the UK loses the income.Who says the uk is over taxed? Fox news ,Murdoch/Ashcroft/ all the other obscenely greedy bonus driven morally bankrupt business 'leaders'?How do the Germans manage to export so much, despite the new world order and yet still retain something called employee rights? Sat 10 Apr 2010 01:07:04 GMT+1 Billythefirst #700 PseudoCon - You sure you're ukip? – you sound extreme enough to be part of the Ashcroft blog machine.The whole NI performance is cosmetic – George (experienced genius that he is) is going to save billions more than Labour , avoid NI increases and will still be able to afford increase to foreign aid budgets and support for the troops in Afghanistan – he’s obviously using one of those special Eton calculators. Sat 10 Apr 2010 00:57:24 GMT+1 Billythefirst This post has been Removed Sat 10 Apr 2010 00:41:09 GMT+1 time4vote Oh my lordy (Mandelson) the next big idea from the Government is to introduce a Cadbury's Law...Like a Chocalate fireguard against busineses beign taken over by foreign companies...It is total rot and is a complete lurch to a leftist agenda of the unions. So one day the Dear Leader is preaching about globalisation and the next day its protectionism. Whilst it appears to be a savvy vote winner for those who cannot grasp the economic need for British companies to have foreign investmnet, as I understand it requires at least a 2/3 thirds majority of shareholder to agree to a takeover for strategic companies (what are these BAE, Quinetiq ????).....Hmm given that 75% of most shares are held by pension/hedge/stock firms and not by the general pucblic I fail to see how this will work if the right market price is offered. It simply samcks of Brown going after the old mantra of "British Jobs for British People"..which we all have sussed out as a busted flush when push comes to shove.Fact of life is if we want to paly in a global market we have to play by global means. There are many British companies (BT, Vodafone, BP) who have gone after foreign assets. To start putting up a protectionist message as this naive law will do will only harm our overseas interests and drive more firms from investing in the UK.Total bonkers...and before I am acussed of being biased I happen to work for a company that heavily relies on the fact it acquired a UK business as an asset. We, unlike the public sector, have reduced our costs to ensure our competitiveness to generate wealth. What happened to Cadburys at Kenysham is sad and I genuinely feel for the workers who will lose their jobs, but given that Cadbury was going to close this factory anyway, is this law a complete divetsion from the real issues..the issues of how do you make British companies global leaders i.e lower cost base, stong projection and more innovative. Sat 10 Apr 2010 00:40:49 GMT+1 Billythefirst #1000 OK - so you're a Tory (Ukip) Voter.Me - I'm more concerned about interference from the US - Rumsfeld and Cheney took us into it war - nothing to do with the EU that - as for scroungers look no further than our very own banking system and the parasites running it for their own ends - no doubt they'll be backing the tories in the forthcoming election. BBC of Fox News - which has more credibility - that's the trouble with tories, they're not content with controlling the press they want to control all media.Perhaps they'll achieve it with Ashcroft and Murdoch. Sat 10 Apr 2010 00:37:01 GMT+1 Billythefirst ZZZZZZZZZZZZZgrark - are you absolutely sure your not a member of one of the Ashcroft sponsored blog teams drowning the net with your oh so predictable Brown sold gold and pumped money into the Public Sector whinge routines.You really don't come across as an undecided voter. Sat 10 Apr 2010 00:24:35 GMT+1