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Contractor confidence is on the rise, but still at low levels

 

Latest research has revealed that confidence among the UK's two million contractors is continuing to rise, but issues such as Bexit and government policy has resulted in lower levels than usual.

The research, conducted by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) found that confidence levels fell in the second quarter, however, the outlook over the next 12 months sees 31% of contractors express a positive frame of mind, which is an increase of 12% points compared to the previous quarter.

Suneeta Johal, IPSE Head of Research, commented, “Freelancers again cited Brexit and the negative consequences of Government policy as their primary concerns. This could be linked to worries that changes to the way freelancers are taxed in the public sector could soon be extended to the private sector.

“Our confidence index has traditionally found the third quarter to be challenging for freelancers, but if the Government alleviate their concerns about the roll-out of IR35 reforms in the private sector, it is possible that confidence can continue to increase as it has done this quarter.”

Professor Andrew Burke, Dean of Trinity Business School, Dublin, added, “These freelancers are professional and highly skilled, and – given they are involved in projects that drive growth and innovation, and have first sight of the plans of industry – they have become astute economic and business forecasters.

“Therefore, their expectation that the UK economy could be either heading for stagflation or, at best, experiencing a significant slowdown accompanied by high inflation is concerning. They are predicting that the input prices for their businesses will rise by 11 per cent over the next 12 months, while also anticipating a decline in UK economic performance.”

Lucy Smith is the Managing Director for ContractorUmbrella Ltd, one of the UK’s Most Respected Umbrella Companies and founder member of AllUmbrellaCompaniesAreEqual. Learn more about Lucy on Google.