Builders welcome chancellor’s decision to scrap hike in National Insurance, says FMB

Philip Hammond has scrapped controversial plans to increase National Insurance tax for self-employed workers - a decision welcomed by those in the construction sector.

The chancellor's shock u-turn on the proposed hike, which was only announced in last week's Spring Budget, follows criticism that the Government had broken a pledge made in the 2015 manifesto.

In a statement, Hammond said: “In 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 Four NIC measures set out in the Budget.

“There will be no increases in NICs rates in this Parliament."

And despite leaving a £2 billion hole in his Budget, the Government has made the right decision, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

“At a time when we need to do everything we can to ensure economic stability, this would have been a destabilising tax increase which would have hit large numbers of tradespeople on quite modest incomes," said Brian Berry, FMB chief executive.

"That would have felt very unfair and would have been in danger of undermining the entrepreneurial spirit Britain will need to rely on as we approach the economic uncertainty of Brexit.

"There is an important debate to be had about how we ensure an even playing field in the taxation of the self-employed and the directly employed. But we need to do that in a way that allows people to plan ahead and ensures the total package of tax and benefits is fair to the self-employed.”

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