Chancellor Philip Hammond has delivered his Spring Statement, hours after the government suffered a historic defeat over its Brexit deal.
Unlike the budget, the statement is little more than an update on the economy, with a small amount of policy included.
What does this mean for the self-employed?
The chancellor proudly claimed that the economy was “robust”, delivering increased wage and employment growth. In fact, self-employment also rose significantly in recent months and data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed more women are working for themselves than ever before.
The public finances received a boost with higher than projected tax receipts in January.
The chancellor also pledged that Greg Clarke, business secretary, will soon make an announcement concerning late payment.
Research by IPSE has shown that freelancers spend an average of 20 days a year chasing businesses because of late payment.
Brexit and the economy
The UK economy is expected to grow by 1.2 per cent in 2019 and borrowing should be lower amid continuing economic growth.
Reflecting on the Brexit situation, Hammond warned against anything other than an agreed deal and a “smooth and orderly Brexit”.
The chancellor’s warnings about the impact of a ‘no deal’ echoed concerns about the damage it is likely to cause the UK economy and one of the most dynamic sectors, the self employed.
This is reflected in IPSE’s latest Confidence Index survey, which revealed how Brexit uncertainty has affected businesses’ confidence in the economy.