The Chancellor announced two increases in Class 4 NI contributions for the self-employed in his budget and in the following week withdrew the increases for the term of the current parliament.
His original notion was to start the process of equalising the NI contributions made by the employed and self-employed now that State Benefits, particularly the new flat-rate State Pension, are available to both groups.
The first rate increase, from April 2018, was set to coincide with the abolition of the self-employed Class 2 contributions on this date. However, it would appear that manifesto promises carry more weight than fiscal necessity and the increases have been abandoned.
Class 2 contributions are still being withdrawn, which means that the scope of Class 4 contributions will need to be adjusted to counter any loss in benefits presently provided by Class 2.
Legislation in this area has been thrown wide open to change by the apparent U-turn since the budget announcements. As and when the intentions of government become more certain we will update readers accordingly.