City gives thumbs up to Tory proposals to scrap the FSA

TORY plans to disband the FSA and hand its regulatory powers to a beefed-up Bank of England have been given a cautious thumbs up by our panel of City workers, although a significant minority still have doubts about the policy.

The City A.M./PHI Panel, which has been specially recruited in conjunction with to represent London’s financial community, was asked whether they agreed with George Osborne’s plans to scrap the tripartite system.

Just over half the panellists (55 per cent) said they either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed, although around a third (34 per cent) said they either strongly disagreed or somewhat disagreed.

Meanwhile, the panel overwhelmingly thought that the Tories were right to recognise marriage in the tax system. David Cameron will today commit to a tax break in the form of a partially transferable personal allowance for married couples and civil partnerships earning under £44,000 each.

The vast majority of panellists (64 per cent) agreed that marriage should be recognised in the tax system while 28 per cent said they either disagreed or strongly disagreed.


MPs to tap legal aid for fees
Three former MPs facing the courts over accusations of cheating on parliamentary expenses have tapped in to publicly-funded legal aid to pay for their costs. Elliott Morley, David Chaytor and Jim Devine face courts on criminal charges of false accounting over expense claims they made for rent, mortgage and other services. Officials have said that it is expected that their trials will be covered by the legal aid service. The MPs were granted access to the fees support service last week, according to a spokesperson from HM Courts Service. The MPs have denied the accusations and are expected to appear in court at the end of next month.

Poll shows six point Tory lead
Today’s YouGov poll for the Sun puts the Tories on 39, up two, Labour on 33, up two and the Lib Dems unchanged on 20. Meanwhile, a ComRes poll for the Independent put the Conservatives seven points clear of Labour on 37 per cent, a two point drop. Labour were also down two points to 30 per cent while the Liberal Democrats gained 20 points to poll four per cent. A rival ICM poll for the Guardian placed the Tories on 37, down one, Labour on 31, up one and the Liberal Democrats on 20, down one. Both polls suggested the public think David Cameron had a better start to the election campaign than Gordon Brown.