Fylde coast relief at Chancellor’s U-turn

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden
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Blackpool South Labour MP Gordon Marsden has slammed the Government over the Chancellor’s shock U-turn on national insurance contributions for self employed workers.

Philip Hammond had announced in his Spring Budget that Class four NIC’s would go up by two per cent.

But yesterday after considerable lobbying and criticism he had broken an manifesto promise not to raise tax, he announced that: “There will be no increases in NICs rates in this Parliament.”

Mr Marsden said the measure was designed to raise £2bn but now the Chancellor would be facing a massive financial black hole.

He said: “There had been a huge outcry over the NICs rise in Blackpool and on the Fylde Coast. Thousands of people have spent the past week worrying over the impact of this.

“This is the biggest Chancellor U-Turn I have ever seen. The Government has made a right Horlicks of it all.

“This has come as a combined effect of lobbying in the House of Commons and pressure from groups such as the Federation of Small Business which has is HQ here in Blackpool.

“How is ‘spreadsheet Phil’ is going to fill the financial black hole is has just created?”

In his climb-down, Mr Hammond said: “It is very important both to me and to the Prime Minister that we are compliant not just with the letter, but also the spirit of the commitments that were made.”

Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said: “We are delighted for our members and all the nation’s self-employed that the Chancellor has recognised the strong opposition to this measure, admitting it was against the spirit of the Tory manifesto on which his party stood, and has now decided to scrap it for the duration of this parliament.

“The army of self-employed make a massive contribution to the UK economy.

“We’ve consistently argued, since this measure was announced last week, that a tax-grab on the genuine self-employed – the hairdresser, electricians and plumbers – makes absolutely no sense.

“We look forward to engaging with his review into the benefits that the self-employed need to raise families, pay the bills when sick, and prepare for retirement.”

See also: Budget reaction