U-Turn On Self Employed Class 4 NIC Increases
The Chancellor has announced on 15 March that he would not be going ahead with his Budget proposal to increase the National Insurance Contribution rates for self-employed people.
In the Budget of 8 March 2017, he announced that Class 4 NIC rate for the self-employed would rise by 1% to 10% in 2018/19 and by a further 1% in 2019/20. The proposed increases provoked a widespread outcry, not least because the Conservatives 2015 election manifesto stated “we can commit to no increases in VAT, Income Tax or National Insurance.”
A week later, perhaps appropriately on the Ides of March, the Chancellor issued a letter to MPs saying that there would be no increase to Class 4 NICs “in this Parliament”. However, the abolition of Class 2 NICs will still go ahead from April 2018, meaning that the self-employed will generally see their NICs bill fall from 2018/19.
At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mrs May has said that the government would review areas of difference in the treatment of the employed and self-employed following a forthcoming report of modern working practices being prepared by Martin Taylor. Mrs May’s comments reiterated a point made by the Chancellor, who also wrote in his letter that “The cost of the changes … will be funded by measures to be announced in the Autumn Budget.”