Whether you’re self-employed, a cog in the small business machine or you simply relish sinking your teeth into the political pie, you’ll be aware of the recent raucous surrounding National Insurance increases and effects on the self-employed.
Philip Hammond, having been the Chancellor of the Exchequer since July 2016, has caused quite the stir after breaking a key Conservative manifesto pledge made in 2015 to increase Class 4 National Insurance contributions by 2% for the self-employed. The initial proposal caused anger among Tory backbenchers since it broke the Conservative manifesto’s pledge not to raise National Insurance contributions after increasing the headline rate of the tax for some workers in the Budget. As a result, Hammond’s decision to abandon the manifesto pledge has furthered the fury and humiliation among the Conservative party. Not only has this political U-turn ignited a debate among Labour, Lib Dem and Tory members but the public are outraged at the breach of trust that has occurred as a result of the manifesto madness, especially since this policy reversal occurred a mere week after the Budget was announced.
Hammond wrote a letter to readers of the Sun expressing his defense over the decision to reverse the policy, claiming that the reversal showed the British people ‘we are listening’. However, his decision has already done irreparable damage to the authority of his position as Chancellor of the Exchequer and consequently he has been placed on probation, facing a possible redundancy.
Since most self-employed people tend to pay 20% and up to 30% of their gross earnings into National Insurance, and there are no tax advantages in place to aid them, it goes without saying that their livelihood and businesses would have been severely affected by an increase. At Primo Associates we help a plethora of industries find work with prestigious clients in their self-employed ventures including those in Construction, IT and business management. These increases would have created a snowball effect of costs, not only for recruiters but also for clients looking for self-employed workers. We are disappointed by the confusion and stress that it has caused the self-employed. A number of MPs including Jeremy Corbyn have also said that an apology is due for causing unnecessary anxiety to the 4.8 million self-employed Britons.
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