Document Abstract

Social protection for the self-employed in the UK: the disappearing contributions increase, IN Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, Vol 27 No 2 Jun 2019, pp235-251

Analyses the reasons for the about-turn on the intended increase in National Insurance contributions (NICs) for the self-employed as announced in the March 2017 Budget. Explains that the increase was intended to give improved pensions and potentially also parental benefits to self-employed people. Highlights the rise in the number of people who are self-employed and the need for them to be given greater social protection. Discusses recent policy developments in the area and highlights successive governments’ failure to merge income tax and NICs. Outlines possible reasons for the withdrawal of the proposed changes to the NICs including opposition from the Labour Party and tabloid newspapers, a lack of consultation with the public and no clear indication of what the increased contributions would be used for. Discusses social protection issues and the broader political and social policy context within the UK. Assesses provision of social protection for the self-employed from a European perspective noting that the European Commission is organising a consultation on the matter. Concludes that the self-employed in the UK will have inadequate social protection for years to come due to the abandonment of the proposed NIC increase.


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Bennet, Fran
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