Chancellor Philip Hammond returns from his summer holiday to screw over millions of workers

Philip Hammond

Politicians have only just returned to parliament following their summer break. But millions of self-employed workers will wish they stayed away. Because it’s only taken days for chancellor Philip Hammond to announce a U-turn on a tax break for self-employed workers.

Broken promises

Back in 2015, former chancellor George Osborne promised a tax cut in Class 2 National Insurance contributions for self-employed people. It was supposed to save workers earning between £6,205 and £8,424 an estimated £134 a year. In 2017, Hammond made his first U-turn. He announced that it would be implemented in April 2018 instead of April 2019.

But now, he has scrapped the cut entirely. Sources vary, but the U-turn will affect between 2.7m and 3.4m workers. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell described the move as a “betrayal”:

Precarious working

Self-employed people already live with financial insecurity. From not knowing when the next contract will come in to not having sick or holiday pay, it is a precarious situation:

No one’s happy

It appears that Hammond has managed to piss off the entire political spectrum. The TaxPayers’ Alliance tweeted:

Conservative MP John Redwood was also unhappy:

The tabloid press also tore into Hammond with the Sun describing the move as ‘clobbering White Van Man’.

Supporting small businesses?

In 2015, David Cameron introduced his small businesses manifesto. He said small businesses were the ‘backbone of the economy’ and that the Conservative Party were:

grafters and the roofers and the retailers and the plumbers.

But as the Federation for Small Businesses pointed out:

Time for change

Time and again the Conservative government has screwed over poor people. Whether it’s welfare claimants or self-employed people struggling to make ends meet, one thing is clear. The party only cares about the rich. Surely the time has come when we all agree that it’s time for a change? And then we can start building a country that puts the needs of ordinary people before those of a wealthy elite.

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Featured image via Flickr/Raul Mee

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