Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Government U-Turn on Self-Employed Is All Brexit's Fault

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Government U-Turn on Self-Employed Is All Brexit's Fault

Article excerpt

Byline: COMMENTARY Jim Armitage City Editor

IT'S time for a bit more honesty from the Government.

Rather than wriggle around embarrassingly with fibs about how the Budget's National Insurance rise is not a breach of David Cameron's election pledge, it should tell the truth: those pledges were made before last June's referendum. Now, with Brexit on the way, the Treasury has to keep its war chest stocked.

To cover the much-needed extra funding of social care and business rates reliefs, the Chancellor has to find somewhere to make up the shortfall. Tapping a corner of the workforce which has benefited from reliefs most employees don't enjoy was seen as the bestworst option.

Why couldn't he just loosen the purse strings? Because he has no idea how much tax revenue he will lose as a result of the EU exit.

It might be nothing, it might be something huge. The Brexiteers in the Chancellor's party may not want to hear it, but he has to make contingency plans for the latter. …

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