Concern over impact of proposed tax increase for self-employed

The leader of Northumberland County Council has expressed serious concern about the impact last week’s Chancellor’s budget could have on the self employed in the county.

The Government announced that National Insurance Contributions for the self employed, or class 4 NICs, will increase from 9 per cent to 10 per cent in April 2018, and to 11 per cent in April 2019.

Councillor Grant Davey says that with a very high number of business start ups last year, he is fearful that Northumberland would be badly hit by this new tax burden, if it goes ahead.

He says:  “A key driver of our economic strategy is to support the creation of 10,000 jobs in the county by 2031 and ensuring businesses come to the county is vital to this plan.

“Northumberland is a fantastic place to start and grow a business and I am very concerned that this tax rise would hit the self-employed very hard.  

“They are a hugely important part of our business community and need to be nurtured not hampered by disincentives like this.  Their future growth is at risk.

“Starting a business is no mean feat and those who do it often go on to employ others and grow further, helping to expand our economy here in the county.

“The proposed 1% rise next year, with a further 1% increase in 2019, would hit the self-employed in their pockets, and could have a detrimental effect on some important business sectors, including the heating and plumbing trades.”

In the North East as a whole there are approximately 100,000 self-employed who contribute £4bn to the economy.

Data from Companies House and the Office of National Statistics revealed that more new businesses were registered in Northumberland during 2016 than in any previous year.

The study found that 1,302 new firms were registered in the county last year, improving on the previous year’s total of 1,289.

The number of registered companies in Northumberland now totals 9,713, up from 9,370 at the end of 2015, which equates to 3.7% growth.

Since publication of the budget last week the Prime Minister, has said that the legislation to increase National Insurance contributions for the self-employed will be delayed until the autumn amid a public backlash from senior MPs.

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