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Social protection for the self-employed in the UK: the disappearing contributions increase

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A recent government proposal to increase national insurance contributions for the self-employed in the UK, in return for improved pensions and potentially also parental benefits, was immediately reversed. This article analyses the reasons behind this about-turn, linking them to tensions between the goals of thwarting ‘bogus’ self-employment and increasing tax revenues versus commitment to a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare economy. The analysis is set in the context of the singularity of the UK system in relation to much social protection in continental Europe, and wider debates about the roles of individual, state and labour market in providing security.
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Keywords: United Kingdom; contributions increase; national insurance; self-employment; social protection

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Oxford, UK

Publication date: June 2019

This article was made available online on February 19, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Social protection for the self-employed in the UK: the disappearing contributions increase".

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