Business leaders 'are against NI rise'Many of the UK’s most senior business leaders have got behind Conservative plans to reverse the Labour government’s planned National Insurance (NI) contribution increase, should they prove successful at the forthcoming General Election.

In the wake of the recession, the leaders have warned that such a rise could put jobs at threat as well as putting the recovery of the economy at risk.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, 23 business leaders publicly endorsed the recent announcement by shadow chancellor George Osborne that the party would axe an NI increase for those earning less than £45,000.

The newspaper reports that support for Mr Osborne’s announcement comes from Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury, Sir Stuart Rose, executive chairman of Marks & Spencer, and founder of easyGroup Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

Representatives wrote in the letter: "The government’s proposal to increase NI, essentially placing an additional tax on jobs, comes at exactly the wrong time in the economic cycle."

Mr Osborne recently appeared in a live Channel 4 debate alongside chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling and Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable.

Posted by Ross George