UK Treasury chief backs down on tax plans after outrage

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.