Magazine
Latest Issue

The government picked the wrong U-turn

An increase in self-employed National Insurance contributions is much needed. But the government has shelved its plans for one—and is pressing ahead with benefit cuts that leave low income households facing a hit

By Torsten Bell  

Chancellor Philip Hammond ©Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

U-turns are a staple of politics, in all but the most honeymoon phases of governments. But Chancellor Philip Hammond’s U-turn on his Budget plan to raise National Insurance for the self-employed is a very unusual one, combining as it does a very firm defence of the need for the policy with the decision to scrap it.

That we have ended up in that place reflects the undeniable fact that the politics of the increase in self-employed National Insurance contributions (NICs) has been…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect