A Camouflaged Message For Jobs

In what was to be the last Spring budget, the impact on the jobs market looked and felt more like a wet Wednesday in Rhyl. The headlines suggest disincentives for those in self-employment or running small enterprises. Both options of meaningful employment have been borne out of necessity rather than a monumental shift to a new entrepreneurial generation. The continued pressure that companies have on fixed costs dictates seeking alternative solutions and the self-employed meet this need. The sums involved in these changes are not deal breakers but the intent from the Chancellor signals intent to target a sector that by necessity relies on a ‘no thrills’ benefits package. This focus will doubtless cause many constituency MPs, and in turn local authorities and their enterprise teams, some concern. This, together with the business rates changes, makes entry into enterprise less of an attractive proposition

 The obvious good news is hidden in the detail. The £2bn investment in social care will lead to increased jobs. This could however be offset by the attack on the leisure industry where rises in alcohol duty, and again business rates will have a challenging impact, particularly on mid-size leisure groups, and will almost certainly lead to estate re- sizing and with it a reduction on jobs.

 The overall impression is that it feels that for jobs this is a precursor to the new Autumn budget that will need to offer job stimulation in parallel with Brexit discussions. It is clear that all forecasts are just that, estimates of what could be, rather than what will be. To that end we must hope that the Chancellor is focused on two things.

 1.   A stimulation package for jobs, and

2.   Perhaps a more balanced approach and message to those of us who are earning our living in an enterprise culture.

Posted: Friday 10 March 2017

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