East Dunbartonshire MP slams budget

John Nicolson MP
John Nicolson MP

East Dunbartonshire MP John Nicolson has said that Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring budget will see East Dunbartonshire residents hit “disproportionately hard”.

The Chancellor announced yesterday that national insurance contributions for the self-employed will rise to 11 per cent by April 2019.

A recent study from the Federation of Small Businesses shows that East Dunbartonshire is home to a significantly higher than average number of self-employed professionals.

Mr Nicolson said: “It is disappointing that the Chancellor chose to renege on earlier assurances not to increase national insurance as we should be supporting and encouraging enterprise at this time.

“The recent FSB study shows that entrepreneurial spirit flourishes in East Dunbartonshire. Small businesses make up 98 per cent of private enterprise in Scotland and this is crucial for employment and prosperity, not just in East Dunbartonshire, but throughout the whole country.

“Increasing national insurance contributions will deter people from setting up new businesses and becoming self-employed. Not only will this affect individuals but will have a significant impact on both the local and national economy.”

The government says self-employed people now have much the same pension and benefit rights as those in employment, so the disparity in National Insurance rates can no longer be justified.