Darling is told not to raise taxes

ALISTAIR Darling should not announce any new tax rises in today’s Budget, according to our panel of City and business professionals.

And he should cut spending across all government departments, instead of “ring-fencing” areas like education and health.

Sixty-nine per cent of panelists were against any new taxation, although 30 per cent thought Darling should raise taxes.

The City A.M./PHI Panel, which has been specially recruited in conjunction with PoliticsHome.com to represent London’s financial community, was also asked whether the chancellor should protect some departments.

The vast majority (75 per cent) said the axe should fall on all areas, while 25 per cent thought some departments should escape reductions.

Of those panelists that thought some areas should be spared cuts, 65 per cent said that spending on health should be ring-fenced.

Fifty six-per cent said spending on education should be shielded from cuts, while 53 per cent said cuts at the Ministry of Defence should be avoided.