HE’S AT IT AGAIN
Less than two years after the last tax reforms, the Governments latest plans to do away with Class 2 National Insurance contributions will hit the lowest paid performers and theatre staff hard.
The result of such a change would mean actors on low salaries would have to pay much more in order to qualify for benefits such as maternity allowance, bereavement benefits and the state pension.
As it stands. self-employed persons earning less than £5965 per year can pay a voluntary Class 2 contribution of £2.80 a week in order to benefit from these entitlements, but, in getting rid of the Class 2 category, people would have to move to a different NI class paying £14.10, an increase of £587 a year!
In an official response, Equity has reportedly said “The removal of an effective safety net for this group (low paid self-employed) may simply result, in combination with other factors, in them leaving the profession thereby depleting the available talent pool going forward.”
The move would certainly see a decline in those actors from the poorest backgrounds.
While it means that those earning between £5965 and £8060 per year would not have to pay NI at all and still receive those benefits, that will mean very little to the majority of actors (over 50%) who, according to a study by Equity and Skillset, earn less than £6000 a year from performing work.