Is it fair to ask self-employed people to pay more National Insurance?
Chancellor Philip Hammond departs 11 Downing Street, London, as he heads to the Palace of Westminster for the delivery of the Budget statement
By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 9 Mar 2017
THE main talking point of yesterday's Budget was the hike in National Insurance contributions for self-employed people.
Chancellor Philip Hammond told MPs that Class 4 National Insurance contributions will go up to 10% from 9% and to 11% in April 2019, a move heavily opposed by opposition MPs
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Hammond defended the decision.
Asked about the Tories' pre-election pledges not to increase National Insurance, he said: "There was a broad commitment to lock taxes so there would be no tax increases. That's what we have done."
Mr Hammond said he was "working in an extremely constrained environment" where most taxes could not be increased and spending in many areas was ring-fenced.
The government, he said, faced "some new challenges which we have to rise to".
Mr Hammond added: "What I think we have done now is get the relationship between employed and self-employed National Insurance contributions into a fairer place."
The government says self-employed people now have much the same pension and benefit rights as those in employment, so the disparity in National Insurance rates can no longer be justified.
What do you think about the changes in National Insurance contributions for self-employed people?