Letters to the Editor

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The Budget - The self-employed tax grab

Sir, – While not all of your readers will have been watching Chancellor Philip Hammond’s recent budget statement, I bet it caught the attention of the 15.4 per cent of the Midlothian workforce who are self-employed! They now face the prospect of increases in their National Insurance tax bills in each of the next two years. The Chancellor’s big announcement in his budget was a £1 billion tax hike on those who work for themselves, people who tend to be on relatively modest incomes and don’t benefit from the likes of paid holidays and sick leave.

Only last week I was pleased to discuss Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) figures highlighting Midlothian’s self-employment hot spots. The report showed that local towns like Roslin, Bilston and Rosewell have high numbers of self-employed people contributing to their local economies. So to increase the taxes these people pay, and make self-employment a less attractive option, is the wrong move.

Self-employed people have taken a huge personal gamble to set up in business, they can’t rely on a pay packet on the same day each month – they pay themselves when they get paid by their customers. They often borrow against their family homes to get started in business and work late into the evening after commitments such as children’s homework have been completed. The drive these people have to create successful local businesses should be celebrated, not taxed.

If you’re self-employed and worried about the impact tax rises will have on your business, contact your local MP Owen Thompson and let him know – and ask him to let Philip Hammond know. FSB will of course continue to champion the cause of the self-employed and small business owners both locally and nationally. – Yours, etc.,

Gordon Henderson

Federation of Small Businesses

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