Chancellor Philip Hammond’s U-turn over National Insurance contributions has been welcomed by Peterborough’s self-employed business people.
In his budget a week ago, Mr Hammond announced a two per cent hike in NI contributions for the self-employed from next year.
But after a storm of protests, Mr Hammond wrote to Conservative MPS stating the plans, which would have raised £2 billion, had been dropped.
The move comes as a relief to the army of self-employed in Peterborough where it is reckoned 80 per cent of businesses employ four or less people.
John Bridge, chief executive of Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, said: “It was an ill-founded plan.
“It was penalising the very people who are the backbone of economy and who drive it forward.
“We had been hoping for a budget to motivate business people.”
Joseph Valente, who runs his own plumbing business ImpraGas, in Yaxley, and won BBC’s The Apprentice two years ago, said: “This increase should not have been imposed on the self-employed. The self-employed have enough to worry about just running their businesses.
“It is unfair and is a tax on the entrepreneurs of Peterborough.
“It would have been a deterrent to people wanting to work for themselves.”
Doug Balderson, chairman of Peterborough Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We are delighted at the new announcement. The army of self-employed make a massive contribution to the economy.
“A tax-grab on the genuine self-employed – the hairdresser, electricians and plumbers – makes absolutely no sense.”