Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer are among a clutch of major retailers to throw their weight behind Tory plans to keep a lid on National Insurance contributions.

Justin King, the Sainsbury’s chief executive, and M&S boss Sir Stuart Rose both signed an open letter to the Daily Telegraph saying government plans to increase NI risked jobs.

Diageo chief Paul Walsh and Graham Mackay, his counterpart at SABMiller, also signed up to the letter, as did Zameer Choudrey of Bestway Cash & Carry.

“We are responsible for ensuring that our businesses and our employees come through the recession in good shape,” they wrote. “The government's proposal to increase national insurance, placing an additional tax on jobs, comes at exactly the wrong time in the economic cycle.”

Collectively the signatories employ more than 500,000 UK workers.

Read more
Hike in cider duty of 13.1% could hit sector revival say suppliers (27 March 2010)
Minimum wage increase ‘downright irresponsible’ (27 March 2010)
Retailer fury at 2% hike in minimum wage (25 March 2010)