NI u-turn ‘could lead to further attacks on self-employed farmers’

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s u-turn on increasing National Insurance contributions for self-employed people, announced this morning, will come as a ‘huge relief’ to the majority of farmers who are self-employed.

However, according to Sean McCann, chartered financial planner at leading rural insurer NFU Mutual, the Chancellor had already signalled that he would be looking to redress the gap in revenue caused by  the u-turn and could seek other ways to increase taxation  of small businesses – or reduce  the benefits available to them.

“These measures would have increased financial pressure on self-employed farmers, contractors and the many country people who are already facing a difficult period in the run-up to Brexit,” said.

“But it may be that Philip Hammond now goes after tax reliefs available to farmers and businesses – such as Agricultural Property Relief and Business Property Relief which he may think could be  eroded without triggering the massive backlash that his measures to increase National Insurance for the self-employed generated.

“We’ll be watching the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget closely and alerting farmers to measures we feel could unfairly affect their finances.”

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About The Author

Editor of Pig World and contributor to LBM’s other farming publications. Also National Pig Association webmaster. Formerly political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years. Enjoy a bit of media punditry. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm. Work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Under-9 football coach and big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.