• Author:Ben Jones
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Business leaders back Conservative plans to stop Labour’s tax on working people

Conservative plans to stop Labour’s tax hike have been backed by the leaders of some of Britain’s largest companies. These include Sainsburys, Marks and Spencer and Next, which between them employ over half a million people including many in Halton.

This is the text of the letter published in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph:

“SIR – Between us we run some of Britain’s largest companies and employ over half a million people. We are responsible for ensuring that our businesses and our employees come through the recession in good shape.

“The Government’s proposal to increase national insurance, placing an additional tax on jobs, comes at exactly the wrong time in the economic cycle. In a personal capacity, we welcome George Osborne’s plan to stop the proposed increase in national insurance by cutting Government waste. In the last two years, businesses across the country have cut their costs without undermining the service they provide to their customers. It is time for the Government to do the same.
Few would argue that the state cannot improve. In the last few years, the private sector has improved its productivity by around 20 per cent, while productivity in the public sector has fallen by three per cent. Savings can be made by removing the blizzard of irrelevant objectives, restrictive working practices, arcane procurement rules and Whitehall interference. Mr Osborne’s announcement marks the beginning of this debate. As taxpayers we would welcome more efficiency in government.

“As businessmen we know that stopping the national insurance rise will protect jobs and support the recovery.

“Cutting government waste won’t endanger the recovery – but putting up national insurance will.”