The Chancellor did a well-documented hand brake turn with his reversal of the self-employed National Insurance increases. Though he had plenty of encouragement, with the back-seat drivers of Mrs May and the backbench MPs, he should have avoided this political own goal. Whenever the next election is self-employment will be revisited.
Though it may have been politically unwise to suggest the increase in National Insurance rates, due to the manifesto promise, it is perfectly rational that the self-employed pay some extra contribution due to the increase of pension entitlement that they will receive from April 2016.
For the part time, low income self-employed there is an extra fly in the ointment, with the scrapping of class 2 pension contributions from April 2018. This currently means that many of Britain's lowest-earning self-employed workers must either pay an extra £588 a year, or lose their entitlement to a state pension.
Those who earn less £5,965 can choose to pay class 2 NI contributions in order to gain entitlement to a state pension, currently £145.60p.a.
If the low income self-employed are not eligible for NI credits, and want to protect their future entitlement to the state pension, class 3 voluntary contributions would have to be paid, which is currently £733.20 a year.