National insurance is usually seen as the dull sibling of Income Tax – a complicated fund-raiser for HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs. Complicated because it is divided into classes with starting points which are never memorable round figures.
The good news? Class 2 NI will not be abolished after all. Applying only to the self-employed, this class of NI is expressed as £2.95 a week or £153.40 a year. Class 2 buys entitlement to maternity benefit and the State Pension at a cost which was once described by Adam Havoc, Company Manager, as being “cheap as chips”. We would prefer to say excellent value for money!
Perhaps with both cost of collection, low revenue and simplification in mind, the Chancellor proposed to abolish Class 2s with effect from 6th April 2019. Its replacement was to be Class 3 for those whose profits are less than £6,205 pa. Class 3 is charged at £14.65 or £761.80 a year. That is 5 times the figure for Class 2! This proposal to hit the lowest earners the hardest was regressive in the extreme.
Forceful lobbying by Equity and, no doubt, other bodies has won through. We congratulate Alan Lean and his colleagues at Equity on their victory in ensuring that actors having a bad year (or more than one) can secure their continuing entitlements at a cost which is truly affordable. Bravo!