Labour condemns new ‘Stealth Tax’ aimed at the Self-Employed

Levelling down….and down…….and

Hidden away in the small print of last week’s budget was yet another tax hike for working people – a triple whammy for the self-employed already hit by higher NICs and Conservative plans for higher Council Tax, also revealed in the Autumn Budget. More than 12% of self-employed people face a £3,000 tax hike thanks to the reporting change which will cost sole traders more than £1.7bn. In Somerset that’s 4,526 self-employed workers.  Labour has condemned this as a ‘stealth tax’  with Shadow Treasury Minister Pat McFadden saying “As well as all the tax rises on income and business the Chancellor has announced in the past six months, buried in the Budget ‘red book’ is a plan for a stealth tax on the self-employed of £1.7bn over the next five years. After the past eighteen months when many self-employed people have had no help at all and when they are already being hit with other tax rises, why are the self-employed being hit with this extra tax rise which the Chancellor didn’t even mention in his Budget last week?”

Leigh Redman
Leigh Redman, “Time to stop the squeeze!”

Across Somerset criticism has also been strong from Labour sources. Cllr Leigh Redman, Leader of the Labour group on Somerset County Council said. “The Conservatives are the party of high tax because they are the party of low growth. It is wrong that 4,526 self-employed workers in Somerset are now facing a triple whammy – higher national insurance, Conservative plans to force council tax up by another 9%, and now a stealth tax worth £3,000. How much more are working people supposed to be able to take? Hard-working families in our County need support to recover but the Conservatives just keep on hammering them with more and more tax. That has to stop – it’s time to Stop The Squeeze.”

Cllr Mick Lerry “workers being left behind’

Bridgwater Town Labour ‘Economy and Staff’ spokesman, Cllr Mick Lerry (Bridgwater Victoria) said “Once again self employed workers are being left behind, with a stealth tax being introduced with Government change in the tax year. Many self employed workers are recovering from the pandemic, when they did not receive enough financial support from the Government. The Chancellor when announcing the budget, did not mention the secret tax that would impact on the self employed from 2004 onwards. Once again the “levelling down” agenda will hit the self employed along with the increase in National Insurance. Owen Patterson a Conservative MP has earned thousands of pounds for lobby on behalf of businesses and the self employed are conned by further taxes. This is about “levelling up” for the Tories and “levelling down” for hard working people”.

Cllr Brian Smedley ‘bad time for self employed’

Sedgemoor Opposition Leader Cllr Brian Smedley (Bridgwater, Westover) said  “ Covid was a bad time for many self employed people, such as myself, who received nothing from the Governments in terms of support and so  now was really the time to encourage us back into the workplace and business arena yet still it’s not a level playing field. There’s about 4.3 million self employed across the country and some 12.3% of self-employed are affected by the change. There’s an estimated 528,000 sole-traders and partners with non-tax year basis periods  Here in Somerset there’s 36,800 self-employed in Somerset which is some  4,526 on our doorstep that need as much encouragement as anyone else. At the same time  there’s rises in National Insurance being forced through that will cost the average worker an extra £255. So much for the Tories being the party of enterprise and small business.” 

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