National Insurance Contributions

The Chancellor changed course on the plan announced in the budget to increase Class 4 National Insurance Contributions for the self-employed. The manifesto did not differentiate between the different classes of contribution. The fact that the Act of Parliament that was passed in order to apparently enshrine this manifesto commitment into law only referred to Class 1 contributions does not change the impression self-employed people quite rightly had in my view that an increase would break the clear manifesto pledge. It is very encouraging the Chancellor as so quickly recognised this and reversed the plan. There is a long-term problem about the tax base but the self employed do take risks and have a different level of protection to those who are employed and this has quite rightly been reflected in lower contributions. It should also be remembered that Class 2 National Insurance Contributions which are paid at a fixed rate are still being abolished so rather than being faced with an increase the self employed will see their contributions reduced thanks to the Conservatives. They will also pay less income tax as the personal allowance is increased.