James Forsyth

The Tories should attack the national insurance increase

The Tories should attack the national insurance increase
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After a tricky few weeks for the Tories, the PBR has come of a bit of a relief for them. It is generating far more bad headlines for the government than good ones.  The Standard’s splash on the national insurance hike is a taste of what the coverage is going to be like for Labour tomorrow.

One point the Tories should be hammering home is that the national insurance hike is a far more significant tax rise than the tax on bank bonuses. The one-off tax on banks that pay sizable bonuses will only raise £550 million while in 2010-11 the various national insurance changes will cost taxpayers more than £3 billion and will hit 10 million people, all those who earn more than 20k a year.

The Tories are saying, as they did the last time that Labour announced a national insurance increase, that reversing this tax on jobs will be their first priority in government. But a bit of boldness on this front would be welcome. The Tories should just say they won’t do it if elected as they don’t want a jobless recovery.