Budget 2024 – live: Jeremy Hunt’s National Insurance cut won’t save Tories, polling guru warns

A 2p cut to National Insurance contributions (NICs) is unlikely to boost the Conservative Party’s general election prospects, Britain’s most respected polling expert has said.

Professor Sir John Curtice told The Independent that he would be “surprised” if the move, expected to be announced by Jeremy Hunt tomorrow, improved the Tories standing in the polls.

“Most evidence says, faced with a choice between trying to do something about public services and reducing taxation, the public services are a bigger priority because most people think public services including the NHS are in a pretty awful state,” he added.

It comes after The Times reported that Mr Hunt opted to cut NICs instead of income because it was cheaper and less inflationary. The Treasury says the £10bn giveaway would save average earners a further £450 after Mr Hunt also cut the rate in November’s autumn statement.

He will sell the move as a £900 overall tax cut to workers.

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