I said on the day the first group of businessmen came out in favour of tackling waste over raising National Insurance that nobody should be remotely surprised that businessmen prefer tackling waste to raising National Insurance.
The deception of the businessmen, and of the British people, lies in the Tories’ continued failure to spell out how their plan would be funded be funded. Waste? Fine, but where, what and how? David Cameron once called the use of ‘efficiency savings’ as justification for a planned public spending commitment ‘the oldest trick in the book.’
Can any one of the businessmen who have signed the NICs letter explain whether they have had it explained to them, by Cameron or George Osborne, exactly where these savings are coming from, and with what impact and on what timetable? No, I thought not. The Tories have already been rumbled on their misuse of the timetable to make false claims about the funding of a bogus cancer pledge.
The whole fandango reminds me a little bit of a similar Tory campaign back in the 1997 campaign when businessmen were wheeled out to support the claim made by John Major et al that a minimum wage would cost a million jobs. It didn’t. Now of course they say they support a minimum wage. They don’t.
Cameron said his number one priority was tackling the deficit. Clearly it is number one priority no longer.
The risk to the recovery comes not just from taking six billion pounds out of the economy, but also from making a whole series of promises today which if implemented would lead to economic calamity tomorrow. None of that negates the fact that businessmen prefer tackling waste to a rise in National Insurance.
* Buy The Blair Years online and raise cash for Labour http://www.alastaircampbell.org/bookshop.php.
Can I ask what your official role is (or if you have one) in the election. it’s not a loaded question I am just interested.
Well said … this is a vested interest of the kind cameron said he would take on in the national interest which has gone out the window. Gordon should have repeated the deception attack because it is true, and your arguments here say why
I had forgotten about their minimum wage campaign. Now you mention it I remember Michael Howard positively slavering about it Wasn’t Portillo part of that campaign too. They were wrong then and wrong now.
The whole notion that a 1% rise in NI would prove a massive disincentive to taking on more staff seems ludicrous to me. As for their “efficiency savings”, I assume they consider the entire public sector a “wasteful inefficiency”. The hollow nature of the Conservatives’ economic policy is borderline disturbing. We can’t cut *yet* – if you’re at the bottom of a hole, why sell your only ladder? And the deficit is geoeconomically-relative: most industrialised nations are ailing at the moment, so panic is entirely unwarranted. It’s all just an excuse for the Tories to do what they’ve wanted all along.
saw your tweet earlier about Cameron’s private jets etc getting on people’s nerves. I found the pictures of him cycling to PMQs equally on-nerve-getting. No doubt car was just behind. He really is all image
Who cares what a bunch of puffed up, self important grocers and haberdashers think, they’ve still only got the one vote each.
well done AC, at last- i have been scratching my head as to why Labour has not been making great play of the similarity between Tory and “Business” alarmist propaganda about the minimum wage in 97 and the reaction to the NI rise now.
Labour should get on the front foot on this one, now that Tesco have come out against the Tories.
Business always trot out these same arguments whenever there is the merest hint of a tax rise that may affect them. It is the politics of fear. We’ll have to cut jobs…damage job creation…blah blah blah.
A letter signed by business saying they don’t want a rise in National Insurance is about as predictable as a 4 year old saying it wants an ice cream on a hot summer’s day.
Gordon Brown believes in crossing the road to help those that need it the most and not just walking on by hoping everything will sort itself out in the end. Are we a county of the many or of the few? That’s the choice we all need to make.
I think the most successful criticism of the Conservatives is that they cannot be trusted, they are full of deception and PR.
There are some predications I see that the UK will be making good progress in recovery from this global recession.
The Conservatives are onto this, of course, dropping “age of austerity” now for tax cuts.
If public mood is to improve about the economy then Labour must capitalise on this. We know that the recovery is due to the good governance throughout the crisis, but if at the election, a positive mood is prevailing then Labour must be careful to make sure that they have what is required to fulfil the aspirations that people will have at that time.
Will someone please explain to the Labour team that according to the IFS, Osborne’s costings assume that businesses will pass on the 1% NI cut to their staff in terms of higher wages? This is from the IFS press release – “In the long-run, however, we would expect the cut in employers’ NI ….. to be passed on in the form of higher gross earnings for employees, increasing income tax and employee NI revenues, and reducing spending on tax credits”.
This is why Osborne thinks the cost of the measure declines over time, rather than increases. This matters. It means that Osborne has assumed that employers will pass on the NI rise and therefore not be any better off – these businessmen have been deceived. Of course, they won’t do this, but pocket the 1%, thereby leaving Boy George with a £1.3b hole in his budgets. It also means there is no NI bonus for the NHS to pay for more drugs. I can’t understand why Labour aren’t hammering this.
The way this story is being strung out has a smell about it. A telegraph like drip drip al la expenses.
Time to use the language the Tories used to justify the way they would pay for the partial roll back.
Osborne said something along the lines of…”any home or business could find a way to save 1 pence in every pound of their budgets”
Thats possibly true! turn that around and say…”every company could make a 1 pence in every pound saving as Osborne states so why are they not prepared to to put that saving to use and support the country”
They are the people most likely to benefit from a recovery after all.
Channel 4s respected “Fact Check Blog” puts the other side of the discussion:
“Economic evidence suggests a NI rise will lead to fewer jobs, though Labour disputes this.
But we haven’t been able to find any solid estimate that backs up Hunt’s “hundreds of thousands” claim. It doesn’t seem unrealistic to make a cautious estimate of 100,000 – but that’s not what Hunt, admittedly not an economist, said last night.”
You dont seem to mention this AC ?
Dave started his final PMQ’s as leader of the opposition on Pensions claiming the government’s record had been disastrous.
Part of the driver for companies to close their defined benefits pension schemes was that the accounting rules changed to require them to bring their pension scheme shortfalls onto their balance sheets, affecting declared profits and the ability to pay dividends.
Without this change, company share prices were effectively propped up by a bubble of “off balance sheet” losses.
The effect of the change has been rather unpleasant and has had a pretty rotten effect on peoples pensions. But it has brought about a managed realignment, unpopular as it might be.
On the other hand, as we saw in late 2008, the bankers were maintaining a vast property-losses bubble and when that burst it all but destroyed the world economy.
And where do the Conservatives still stand on both of these?
Seeking to keep a pensions bubble inflated?
Being on the wrong side of the Banking crisis?
Hmmm – bad judgement.
It reminds me of the bankers who argued against regulation and stricter controls two years ago.
Deception – best see Gordon Brown for that. Can’t believe he repeated his crap about where he came from and his parents and TRUTH (!!!!!) on the steps of No 10. Is he bonkers or does he think we are?
Gordon wasted £6 billion when he sold the gold off cheap. That would have avoided the NI rise in itself.
The point I like is that tackling waste now – to reduce the deficit – leads to an ability to prevent a tax rise on incomes and jobs. We all know that if you do not tackle debt early it becomes a bigger problem. We must tackle the debt to protect frontline services in the long run.
I don’t know anyone who thinks there is no government waste. We can all point to examples of it locally and nationally.
I tell you what – that ‘Boy George’ seems to have got you old experts running around like headless chickens again. He hasn’t got the good PR style on TV but the more I hear from him the more respect I have.
Any news on your cuts plans yet?
Why oh why have we not used the 97 minimum wage campaign before? Thank goodness you have brought it into the open Alastair…The Tories cannot be trusted never have never will….Labour is the party for the many not the few!
AC – your so fickle with business…I know deep down you hate the business community but you cant ignore there sentiment and effect on the arguments.
GB off to a bad start and how simply rubbish it is to shield your man GB from any unstaged public interaction.I dont like Presedential campaigns at all but its the way of the world – leaves your man GB in hopeless territory on the road and interacting with normal members of the public….he even seems uneasy talking about the weather !
I said all along ditch him, rebrand new labour and spend 4-5 yrs in oppo regrouping and get stronger…bad luck youve blown it…as have your beloved Burnley and your 2nd team Man U…
”Where’s the meat in t’pie ?” Was the response of one Bolton bakery worker to Camerons half-baked NI proposals as the Tory leader started his campaign.
His reception was initialy marred by a confession that he had his own breadmaker but was mollified when he promised to resume buying factory-baked bread. ( Mmmmmm !! )
Sourced from Ben Macintyre, The Times 8th. April.