The secret’s out – though in truth it’s been out for a while. Working for yourself is a hugely appealing way of living, as contractors across the UK will vouch for.

In fact, in the last 12 months, more than 100,000 have made the leap and become either a contractor, freelancer or self-employed.

Given this shift among the UK’s workforce, there have been growing calls for the government to be more catering for this expanding demographic.

One such call has this week come from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). With 4.8 million people now working for themselves, the federation has said that the government should rule out any hike to national insurance contributions (NIC).

“The self-employed community is an increasingly critical driver of economic growth in the UK,” said Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB. “As the self-employed battle spiralling inflation and a new wave of political uncertainty, the last thing they need is for the Government to revisit failed plans for a national insurance hike.”

Cherry calls on the government to ‘address discrepancies in the treatment of the self-employed and employees under the welfare system’. As an example, he points to a Universal Credit system he deems to be incompatible with the hard-to-specifically-predict incomes contractors and freelancers can accrue over a given month.

“In this unforgiving climate, the Government should be doing all it can to support the nation’s strivers,” Cherry said. “Bringing the Maternity Allowance closer in line with Statutory Maternity Pay and exploring the feasibility of Statutory Paternity Pay for all eligible self-employed parents would be a welcome starting point.”

The FSB has been a very vocal opponent to any NIC rise, and recently launched the ‘stop the 2%’ campaign.