Idea: Nat Ins and the Self-employed - embryonic

  • The Chancellor has announced that he will raise the level of National Insurance for the self-employed from April 2018. There is already some pressure for him to change his mind and there is time to persuade him to do so, should we wish to do so, given that there is over a year until its implementation.

    Mr Hammond's argument for incrasing NI for the self-employed is that they pay less than employed people and that this is unfair. They access the services that the state provides just as everyone else does, so they should pay much the same for thiose services as employed people do.

    However, it is also true that self-employed people don't get the same rewards from work as employed people do. They have no organisation that pays into their pension for them, they don't get maternity or paternity leave, they don't get paid when they're on holiday and so on. Therefore, it seems fair that they should receive some compensation for that.

    So, as always, there are two sides to the argument of what is fair in this case. Some people will say it is fair that they pay the same NI as emplyed people whilst others will feel that it is fair that they pay less. An objective, reasoned discussion about this will help to decide whether Philip Hammond should think again about this or carry on with it in the knowledge thatwhat he is doing is fair.