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Theresa May stops hike in National Insurance contributions for the Self Employed in its tracks
Mild mannered replacement for Chancellor George Osborne (apparently making a pretty packet for himself outside of Parliament though still a Conservative back bench MP) must have regretted committing the UK Budget to the House of Commons yesterday.
Why I can hear you asking well Phillip Hammond announced at the disptach box yesterday a rise in National Insurance contributions for the self employed in the UK. The Conservative Manifesto at the last general election in 2015 stated that there would be no rise in this but with Hammond's announcement yesterday it made Hammond and his party look like hypocrites.
Immediately there was a Conservative back bench rebellion over this led by Jacob Rees - Mogg who has a Facebook page devoted to him by fans wishing him to succeed Theresa May when ever that is. The outrage of Rees - Mogg and other Tory back benchers was because it betrayed small business people who the Tories have often stated are on the side of.
Iain Duncan Smith who used to head up controversally the Department of Work and Pensions or DWP also spoke to Sky News on a similar theme saying Hammond should look again at this.
Initially Theresa May came to the aid of her embattled Chancellor stating this hike in National Insurance for the self employed was fair. However since then May has done something of a u - turn it would appear something her female predecessor said she would never do one Margaret Thatcher.
It now appears that this hike in NI for small businesses part of the finance statement contained in this Spring Budget will not come into being yet. It appears now it will be en - acted in the Autumn Budget perhaps with some refinements - watch this space!
Labour and its Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell called this about face by May a "U - turn" and he would appear to be right. What else can we call this climb down as it would appear May and Hammond do not want a full scale back bench rebelllion on their hands.
Hammond defending it said he introduced it because both self employed and employed people have a right to access UK benefits. However he felt it only right that self employed people should pay more National Insurance to even this out.
Brief Bio of Philip Hammond
1) Born in Epping, Essex, England
2) Date of birth: 4 December 1955
3) Aged aprroximately: 61
4) Educated at Oxford University
5) Married his wife Susan William Walker in 1991
6) Was Foreigns Affairs Minister
7) Has also served as Transport Minister and Defence Minister
8) Replaced George Osborne as Chancellor when Theresa May took over from David Cameron
9) Children: Amy, William and Sophie Hammond
10) Is based next door to Theresa May at 11 Downing Street