Europe

UK Treasury chief backs down on tax plans after outrage

FILE - In this Wednesday, March 8, 2017 file photo, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond poses for the media with his traditional red dispatch box before delivering his annual budget speech to Parliament in London. Britain’s Treasury chief has told lawmakers in his Conservative Party on Wednesday, March 15 that the government will not go ahead with plans for higher taxes on self-employed workers after the plans touched off outrage from within the Tory ranks. Philip Hammond announced an increase in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed in his budget last week. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, file)

FILE - In this Wednesday, March 8, 2017 file photo, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond poses for the media with his traditional red dispatch box before delivering his annual budget speech to Parliament in London. Britain’s Treasury chief has told lawmakers in his Conservative Party on Wednesday, March 15 that the government will not go ahead with plans for higher taxes on self-employed workers after the plans touched off outrage from within the Tory ranks. Philip Hammond announced an increase in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed in his budget last week. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, file)  (The Associated Press)

Britain's Treasury chief has told lawmakers in his Conservative Party that the government will not go ahead with plans for higher taxes on self-employed workers after the proposal touched off outrage from within the party ranks.

Philip Hammond announced an increase in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed in his budget last week. He had suggested the measure to level the playing field for those employed by companies and those who work for themselves.

Self-employed workers currently pay National Insurance taxes equal to 9 percent of earnings, 3 percentage points less than traditional employees.

The inequity was hurting the nation's coffers as the number of self-employed people grows.

Still the increase violated a campaign promise, and Hammond has been under pressure to back down.