Experts flag new NIC and benefits challenges facing the self-employed

In the recent controversy over false self-employment, and the disparity in rates of national insurance contributions between employees and the self-employed, two forthcoming changes have received little attention.

The transition to universal credit will have an adverse impact on many self-employed people, particularly those with fluctuating incomes, and changes to the structure of class 4 NICs will make preserving entitlement to state pension much more expensive for self-employed earners on very low profits, as the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) highlighted on 20 March.

Yesterday in Parliament, the work and pensions committee heard evidence from experts from LITRG, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the RSA, the Social Market Foundation and others on “self-employment and the gig economy”.

You can watch the recording on the Parliament TV website, and here are some of the key points: