NFU Mutual warns Chancellor’s NI ‘U’ turn could lead to further attacks on self-employed farmers

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The Chancellor’s ‘U’ turn on increasing National Insurance contributions for self-employed people will come as a huge relief to the majority of farmers who are self-employed,” said Sean McCann, Chartered Financial Planner at leading rural insurer NFU Mutual.

“These measures would have increased financial pressure on self-employed farmers, contractors and the many country people who are already facing a difficult period in the run-up to BREXIT,” he added.

However, he warned that the Chancellor had already signalled that he would be looking to redress the gap in revenue caused by the ‘U’ turn and could seek other ways to increase taxation of small businesses - or reduce the benefits available to them.”

He continued: “It may be that Philip Hammond goes after tax reliefs available to farmers and businesses – such as Agricultural Property Relief and Business Property Relief which he may think could be eroded without triggering the massive backlash that his measures to increase National Insurance for the self-employed generated.”

Mr McCann concluded: “We’ll be watching the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget closely and alerting farmers to measures we feel could unfairly affect their finances.”