PLANS to increase national insurance levels for self-employed people announced last week have now been dropped, much to the relief of a Kilcreggan business owner.

Nick O’Donnell told the Advertiser that his business would have struggled had the increase gone ahead and that it was “the last thing” he needed.

But the UK Government announced the U-turn on Wednesday, and Mr O’Donnell expressed his relief.

He said: “This a great news for small businesses. I’m glad the government have had to make this u-turn which I truly hope causes them embarrassment.

“Many small businesses such as  myself are really struggling right now after a very difficult time.

"Lending has been secured from banks and we need support from the government, not the stress and the extra financial burden of a tax increase.”

Local Tory MSP Maurice Corry responded to the news of the u-turn saying: “While there were good reasons to make changes to the national insurance contributions, I’m glad to see that many workers in the local area will now not be affected by this after the most recent update.

“I’m glad to see the Conservative and Unionist Party working to strengthen our country, in an attempt to make it fairer for all.”