THOUSANDS of self-employed people in the region are reeling after a two percent National Insurance contribution increase was announced in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s budget yesterday.

The move to increase contributions represents a u-turn by Theresa May’s government after her party’s 2015 manifesto pledge not to increase National Insurance.

The hike is likely to hit sole traders the hardest – usually tradespeople and those with small, independent businesses.

Myroslava Coates, 27, who runs independent illustration business Myrodoodles in Prestwich, said: “As a sole trader I feel like this is yet another road block from the government that attempts to over-complicate the system to the point where people are put off self-employment all together.

I am not abusing the system, or bending the rules, or refusing to contribute – I am a normal, every day, tax-paying citizen who decided to try and go down a slightly different route to earn my living.”

For others, the manifesto betrayal is the bigger issue. Martyn Kuziw, 27, a property developer from Stockport, said: “I’m new to all of this as I’ve gone from employment to being self employed recently.

“I used Deloitte’s calculator and it shows the increase isn’t that much for me, but the main issue is that the Conservatives are going against a manifesto pledge.”

“It shows that they’re not that trustworthy and the fact it’s quite a small issue is softening the blow for them a bit. If they’re prepared to do this, what else could they do?”

The Chancellor has come under further criticism from business leaders, with some describing themselves as an easy target for the government while accepting that they will have to “grin and bear it”.

Col Skinner, who runs digital consultancy firm Profoundry in Ancoats, said: “Hammond has taken the cowardly route of targeting the more tame and vulnerable self-employed.

“If he had gone after big businesses, the ones that really need properly taxed, this would of had a noticeable financial benefit. But these big brands have the power to kick up a PR storm and take their workers and business elsewhere.

“After all, it is us who put the “S” in UK SME’s and it is us who lay the foundations to start larger businesses that bring in even more to the economy.
“The fact that self-employed people don’t have a guaranteed income, pension contributions, sick pay and holiday pay like those in full time, means that these discrepancies are unfair.“

Self-employed people voiced their opinions on Twitter:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *