Self-employed NIC increase dropped

Chancellor Philip Hammond has said the government will not proceed with the proposed increases in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed, which were criticised for breaking a 2015 manifesto pledge.

The plans, originally revealed in the Conservative party’s Spring Budget, caused a backlash from MPs and the public, who highlighted the party’s 2015 manifesto pledge, in which they said that they would not put up National Insurance, income tax or VAT.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that the U-turn represents a government ‘in chaos’, with others questioning the credibility of the Chancellor who produced a ‘Budget that unravelled in seven days’.

In a letter explaining his change of heart, Hammond said: "It is very important both to me and to the prime minister that we are compliant not just with the letter, but also the spirit of the commitments that were made. In the light of what has emerged as a clear view among colleagues and a significant section of the public, I have decided not to proceed with the Class 4 NIC measure set out in the Budget."