NICs increase ‘a blow to Birmingham’s entrepreneurs’
The leader of Birmingham City Council has urged the Prime Minister to scrap controversial plans to increase National Insurance Contributions for self-employed people.
Councillor John Clancy described the proposal, announced in the spring Budget, to generate £2 billion by increasing Class 4 NIC from 9p to 11p for 1.6 million workers, as “a blow to the entrepreneurs of Birmingham”.
The Government believes the increase will cost self-employed people an average of £240 a year.
It emerged yesterday that Theresa May will not put legislation to increase NIC contributions before the House of Commons until the autumn, raising speculation that the plan may be watered down or abandoned.
Cllr Clancy called on Mrs May immediately to overrule Chancellor Philip Hammond and rule out any increases in Class 4 NIC payments.
He said the proposal would hit in the pocket Brummies who took risks to set up small businesses and create jobs.
Birmingham has been named the most entrepreneurial city in the UK for four successive years – with more start-up businesses than anywhere outside of London.
Data released by StartUp Britain shows that 17,473 new businesses were registered in Birmingham during 2016, an increase of 25 per cent on the previous year. There are almost 114,000 self-employed people in Greater Birmingham and Solihull, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Cllr Clancy said: “Birmingham, known for years as the city of a thousand trades, remains a vibrant centre for entrepreneurs who are prepared to work hard, strike out on their own, and get businesses off the ground.
“It will have come as a terrible shock to these risk-takers that, despite stating in the 2015 Conservative General Election manifesto there would be no increases in National Insurance payments, to discover the Government intends to renege on its promises by imposing additional taxes on the wealth-creators.
“There is a very real risk that an increase in NICs will backfire and ultimately lead to fewer small businesses being established and fewer jobs coming on line.
“I urge the Prime Minister to think again and demonstrate that she is serious about helping working people by withdrawing completely plans to increase National Insurance Contributions.”