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March 2017 |

Creative freelancers will be hit by tax hike for the self-employed.

Chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget has been described as 'a slap in the face' for freelancers working in the film industry, according to a media trade union.

The rise in National Insurance Contributions (NIC) for self-employed workers, from the current level of 9% to 10% in 2018 and 11% in 2019 for those making a profit of more than £8,060, has been the most controversial announcement.

The rise will apply to freelancers earning less than £43,000 and the government has claimed that this will raise £145m a year by 2021-22.

According to Creative Skillset’s 2015 employment survey of the UK’s creative industry, a staggering 89% of all workers in the film production sector are freelancers.

Gerry Morrissey, head of Bectu, the media sector of trade union Prospect, described the move as 'unfair and unjustified' in a media statement. 'This is a slap in the face for thousands of our freelance members, who have been hit by a unfair and unjustified increase in tax. Self-employed workers will be paying almost the same employment taxes as secure staff, without employee benefits, and the security, that staff have.'

'Our freelance members are running genuine small businesses, carrying economic risk and paying many costs, without any guarantee of future work from any engager.'

If you are concerned about how these changes might affect you and your earnings, you can visit Bectu's website for more information and advice.

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