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Autumn Statement 2023 – National insurance

Budget Summary

The Chancellor announced major changes to the National Insurance contributions (NICs) system.

Employees and NICs

The government will cut the main rate of Class 1 employee NICs from 12% to 10% from 6 January 2024 so that employees can benefit as soon as possible.

Comment
According to the government, this will provide a tax cut for 27 million working people with the average worker on £35,400 receiving a cut in 2024/25 of over £450.

The self-employed and NICs

The self-employed generally have to pay two forms of NICs: Class 2 and Class 4.

Firstly, the government will abolish Class 2 self-employed NICs from 6 April 2024. This means that, from 6 April 2024:

  • Self-employed people with profits above £12,570 will no longer be required to pay Class 2 NICs but will continue to receive access to contributory benefits, including the State Pension.
  • Those with profits between £6,725 and £12,570 will continue to get access to contributory benefits, including the State Pension, through a National Insurance credit without paying NICs.
  • Those with profits under £6,725 and others who pay Class 2 NICs voluntarily to get access to contributory benefits including the State Pension, will continue to be able to do so.

The government will set out the next steps on Class 2 reform next year.  

Comment
This will mean that a self-employed person who currently pays Class 2 NICs will save at least £192 per year.

Secondly, the government will cut the main rate of Class 4 self-employed NICs from 9% to 8% from 6 April 2024.

Comment
This will benefit around two million individuals, recognising the contribution of the self-employed to the economy and ensuring that work pays for all.

Extension of NICs relief for hiring veterans

The government is extending the employer NICs relief for businesses hiring qualifying veterans for a further year from April 2024 until April 2025. This means that employers will continue to pay no employer NICs up to annual earnings of £50,270 for the first year of a qualifying veteran’s employment in a civilian role.

November 30, 2023