Self employment, NIC and the bigger picture: a few thoughts.

The increase of National Insurance Contributions for the self employed has caused quite a stir. The Labour Party have suddenly found a rallying cry, Tories from the right and the left of the party have risen up in rebellion. This has the potential of being an issue on which cross party MPs can unite against the govt.

And yet. My twitter time line has contained many negative comments. Self employed people are tax dodgers. That sounds to me like the claim that all benefit claimants are scroungers.. We need a tax hike. True. But who should be paying that extra tax. They accept  brexit but revolt against this tax adjustment…

Come on. This is important. The govt. have blundered into something in the same way they are blundering into Brexit. There is a real opportunity for cross party solidarity against the government. This might give the remainers in parliament some spine. And the issue is important.

The first thing to recognise is that many people classed as self employed who shouldn’t be. We need to look at case law, look at common sense and look to changing legislation.Many workers should be on PAYE, with the following benefits and certain tax liabilities.

HMRC need to be equipped and able to carry out meaningful enquiries into tax avoidance and evasion.

In fact, the whole tax regime needs to be looked  at and brought up to date.

There is a review due, so why not wait?

This is about the govt. blundering around, making decisions for the  wrong reasons. We can’t keep touch with the changes in society, we need more taxes, we’ll increase NI for a group of people who are ill-defined, many of whom are victims of a tax and liability avoiding businesses.

The govt are going to have to make a humiliating climb down or face defeat. Or the Tory rebels will have to show they are spineless. This is a good thing isn’t it? For the first time Labour have agreed a cross party rebellion.

There is a glimmer of hope.

We need:

  • a review of the definition of self employment to protect the right of workers

who should have employed status.

  • a review of tax avoidance schemes
  • Greater resources for HMRC to investigate and prosecute

We need, really to review the whole tax system to take into account the changing world we live in.

We can use this opportunity to hold the government to account. Who knows, this might give parliament the confidence to question brexit.




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