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UK Treasury chief backs down on tax plans after outrage

Posted March 15

— Britain's Treasury chief has told lawmakers in his Conservative Party that the government will not go ahead with plans for higher taxes on self-employed workers after the proposal touched off outrage from within the party ranks.

Philip Hammond announced an increase in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed in his budget last week. He had suggested the measure to level the playing field for those employed by companies and those who work for themselves.

Self-employed workers currently pay National Insurance taxes equal to 9 percent of earnings, 3 percentage points less than traditional employees.

The inequity was hurting the nation's coffers as the number of self-employed people grows.

Still the increase violated a campaign promise, and Hammond has been under pressure to back down.

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