NUJ condemns insurance contribution hike
9 March 2017
The NUJ has condemned the decision to increase national insurance contributions paid by self-employed workers in the UK by 1 per cent to 10 per cent in 2018.
Tim Dawson, NUJ president, described the rise as "an unwarranted attack on a vulnerable sector of the economy". He called on the chancellor of the exchequer to withdraw the proposal, which will have a significant impact on freelance media workers. One third of NUJ members are freelance journalists.
Tim Dawson, NUJ president, said:
"This increase will directly hit the incomes of some of the most economically fragile workers in the economy. The vast majority of self-employed workers, freelance journalists among them, have seen average incomes fall dramatically over the past decade. Self-employed workers have become a vital part of our flexible economy, but are denied basic rights enjoyed by those in employment. Hammond’s national insurance hike is a shameful blow. Self-employed workers the length and breadth of the country should seek out their elected representatives and make their displeasure known."
Séamus Dooley, NUJ acting general secretary, said:
"To impose a 20 per cent rise in the contribution rate in order to raise £145m strikes me as a short sighted measure. This will have a disproportionate impact on low paid workers, many of whom are forced into self-employed status under bogus contracts. These workers are effectively 'fake freelances'. It would make more economic sense to clamp down on bogus self-employment, forcing employers to meet their statutory duties and generate revenue from taxation currently being denied to the state. To those who operate, by choice, as independent sole traders this is a significant setback at a time of uncertainty and economic challenge."