City: Tory tax cut is right...

GEORGE Osborne’s plan to cut National Insurance has been broadly welcomed by our reader panel, although most think he should have gone further.

The City A.M./PHI Panel, which has been specially recruited with to represent a cross-section of London’s financial and business community, was asked to judge Osborne’s pledge.

Osborne has said he will scrap a planned rise in National Insurance for everyone earning under £45,400, but forty-two per cent of panelists said he should have reversed the hike for everyone. Thirty-two per cent thought his plan was right as it stands.

A significant minority (19 per cent) said Osborne should have kept Labour’s plan to hike National Insurance contributions (NICs) for employers and employees in place, in a bid to show his commitment to cutting the budget deficit.

“Growth friendly policies like a reduction in NICs should be used to increase tax receipts. The deficit must be reduced by cutting wasteful public sector spending,” said one panelist.

• interviewed 402 panelists by email yesterday. Apply to join the panel at