Patrick O’Flynn, the UKIP Economics spokesman, has today warned that the Tories are likely to hit the self-employed with hikes in National Insurance.
Mr O’Flynn demanded that the Chancellor, Philip Hammond protect the lifeblood of our economy, the self-employed strivers.
“First, he could and should explicitly rule out unleashing a new national insurance raid on the self-employed. The pernicious measure that he set out in his Budget, and that UKIP vehemently opposed, would have hit 2.5 million workers, 1.6 million of whom are basic rate income tax payers.
“It would have cost them an average of £240 a year each. When Mr Hammond withdrew it, he did so only because it contravened the terms of the 2015 Tory manifesto which will of course falls after this election. He said he still thought that hiking NI on the self-employed was “the right approach”.
“If NI rises for the self-employed are not specifically ruled out in the Conservative manifesto then we will know that a Tory tax bombshell is on the way – aimed not at the rich but at plumbers and plasterers, electricians and taxi drivers, hairdressers and personal trainers.
“All the signs are that Mr Hammond is planning a targeted attack on white van men and women – enterprising people who work long hours to provide for their families and take pride in their localities and their nation. People who drive themselves hard and, occasionally perhaps, their vans quite fast!
“UKIP will always be on the side of such self-reliant people. Because UKIP as a party is made up of people just like that. That is why we were the only party that had a dedicated manifesto chapter in 2015 about helping small businesses.”