The Chancellor has said before that the Spring Statement would be more of a fiscal state of the nation than an opportunity to announce new legislation but with the backdrop of the Brexit vote defeat last night and further votes happening over the next couple of days it could well have been a case of “all bets are off”.
There was, however, nothing new there of a micro economic nature for contractors and freelancers. Yes, everything is up in the air with Brexit and it is inevitable that Brexit will have an effect on the world of contracting…indeed it appears it already has with some companies engaging contractors moving operations out of the UK. The Office of Budget Responsibility published figures recently showing growth of 0.2% in the UK economy over the last 3 months however it was interesting to see that the services sector actually contracted by 0.2% in the same period.
It’s clear that the uncertainty of the Brexit situation at the moment is damaging to the economy. Companies are holding back on making decisions or investments and again that has to have an impact on the contracting community. Whilst it was an unenviable job for Philip Hammond to deliver this forecast for the economy (especially with so many Brexit related variables at the moment) I wonder if there was a missed opportunity in this Spring Statement to “steady the ship”. Instead, there was a heavy focus on ensuring any wavering MPs are made aware of Hammond’s opinion on the negative effect a vote to leave without a deal tonight would have.
Let’s see what happens over the next couple of days!