The drop in inflation revealed by ONS data is welcome news for the UK’s 4.8 million-strong self-employed population. Contributor Tom Purvis, IPSE’s Political and Economic Advisor.
ONS data released showed that inflation fell from 3 per cent in January to 2.7 per cent in February. At the Spring Statement the Chancellor announced that inflation was forecast to hit the target rate of 2 per cent by the end of the year. Tom Purvis, IPSE’s Political and Economic Advisor, commented: “The drop in inflation will be welcomed by many across the UK because it means that people are likely to start to see their real wages increase.
“It will be particularly welcome news for the self-employed because one of the biggest reasons for the fall in inflation is the drop in transport costs since January, with petrol prices down by 0.2 pence per litre. As the self-employed spend significantly more time travelling to undertake or win new work, this will make a real difference to their everyday business costs.
“Another piece of good news for the self-employed is the falling price of restaurants and hotels. With freelancers and the self-employed having to travel more than others, a drop in the price of staying overnight will also have a big impact on their business costs.
“So it’s certainly good news for the self-employed and the wider country that inflation is falling towards the Bank of England’s target rate of 2 per cent. But there’s still no getting away from the sharp increase in inflation since the UK voted to leave the European Union.
“Hopefully the Government’s announcement yesterday that it had agreed a transitional period with the EU will help to assuage doubts about Brexit. And now, as the Government moves on to formal trade talks, it is essential that it prioritises the wellbeing of the self-employed sector and does nothing to weaken the vital flexibility of our labour market.”