Spring Statement Mirrors Tentative Economy

The spring statement came and went in under 30 minutes and as we look through the detail it appears that this was more like a sparring session than an actual boxing match. The key headline is that we are less than six months away from an end to austerity and to follow there will be an injection in public spending and with it an injection of much needed jobs in both the public and private sector. On closer inspection it appears that the economy is still stuttering and rather than decisive fiscal control there are a series of ‘well we could do this measures’.

The 29 elements that are out for consultation seem peripheral. The lowering of the VAT threshold has been talked about for a long time and is in many ways less of a threat to small businesses but a very real threat to self-employed trades people. A change at this level is likely to have far greater impact on how trades people price and supply rather than a significant rise in HMRC revenues. There appears to be some small incentives for those wishing to follow an entrepreneurial career but no real drive to create a new nation of shop keepers. Regrettably for small business the key issue that keeps many awake, that of late payments was not really addressed……perhaps in October Chancellor?

So as we look for real encouragement in the budget for the faltering job market in the UK it looks as if we are going to have to wait and hope that the next six months are as good as the chancellor expects rather than in line with OBR thinking which suggests that the light at the end of the tunnel might be more of a mirage.


Posted: Wednesday 14 March 2018

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