Theresa May’s government is in disarray after having to take a humiliating U-turn on raising National Insurance (NI) for the self-employed, just seven days after the Budget. It’s clear to say that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. What’s worse is these are the people who are taking us out the EU and negotiating our future trade deals. They don’t have a coherent plan for that either. It doesn’t bode well.
The Chancellor’s decision to raise National Insurance for the self employed put unnecessary pressure on 4,700 people in my constituency and 4.8 million people across the UK as a whole.
So it’s good news that the Government listened to Jeremy Corbyn when he said in his Budget response, along with business groups like the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), it was wrong to go ahead with an unfair £2bn tax rise on low and middle earners.
In 2015, we had the tax credit shambles. In 2016, we had Personal Independence Payments reversal. Now in 2017 we have the U-turn on National Insurance Contributions and another Tory Budget with a blackhole of billions of pounds.
Our entrepreneurs are running millions of small and medium sized businesses that are the backbone of our economy and, as I’ve tried to illustrate with my Be Fair – Pay on Time campaign we often don’t treat them fairly. The self-employed are the risk takers and entrepreneurs that spearhead growth and productivity in our economy. The Tories promise to ‘reward work’ but the truth is that for many people, wages have fallen and they are working longer hours than ever before.
Increasing the tax burden on tradesman and entrepreneurs was not just another broken promise by the Tories, it was short sighted too. These are people getting by on relatively modest incomes, averaging around £11,000 per annum, that do not have the same protections as employees.
Labour values entrepreneurs and listens to working people. The party was founded by working people over a century ago and we continue to be the only party who will stand up for working people and build a fairer economy. But we know that we must do more to listen to them and help shape what the future of work looks like which is why I’m asking everyone who can to take part in our survey called Workplace 2020.
Workplace 2020 is about having your say, speaking directly to politicians throughout the Labour Party and working together to give working people the deal they deserve, based on the real challenges faced in Britain’s workplaces in 2017.