Tax hike for freelancers would be unjust, claims IPSE

04 Sep 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's plan to raise the national insurance contributions (NICs) paid by self-employed workers would be unjust, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has claimed.

According to reports, the Chancellor is considering bringing the 9% Class 4 NICs rate paid by the self-employed into line with the 12% rate for employees. It is one of the ways the Treasury is reported to be looking at raising revenue after spending billions on its coronavirus (COVID-19) support packages.

When Mr Sunak announced the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) in March, he warned: 'If we all want to benefit from state support, we must all pay equally in the future.'

IPSE has argued that making the 1.5 million self-employed pay for support they did not get would be unfair. It also said that given the slump in the number of self-employed individuals it would also be uneconomical to squeeze these workers further.

Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE, said: 'The last few months have financially hammered the self-employed, with over two-thirds seeing a drop in demand for their work. Government support was some help – to a proportion of the self-employed.

'More noticeable, though, was the 1.5 million who fell through the gaps, leaving many financially devastated. The idea that this 1.5 million should now suffer a drastic tax hike to pay for support they never got is unjust, uneconomical – and unbelievable. If the government is really considering this, it must stop now.'

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