Freelancers still squeezed despite inflation drop

Freelancers are unlikely to get too excited about the first fall in inflation since last April, despite the respite it provides being more welcome than another rise, suggests IPSE.

In fact, inflation reducing slightly to 2.6% still means it is “outstripping earnings,” at a time when complaints about the cost of freelancing remain “continuous”, says IPSE’s Chris Bryce.

Those complaints have reached the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) over “the last year”, he said, mainly via the association’s confidence index.

That coincides with when inflation started its upwards trajectory -- it rose sharply after the EU vote, and its current fall (from 2.7% in May), is the first of its kind since April 2016.

Falling prices for motor fuels and certain recreational and cultural goods and services were the main contributors to the fall in the rate, according to the Office of National Statistics.

And relief at the pumps won’t be sniffed at by the self-employed. Mr Bryce said: “The falling petrol prices that have driven this drop in inflation are definitely good for freelancers.

“Because of their regular long-distance trips to different clients’ premises, they are among the UK’s heaviest road users.”

However the June rate is still above the Bank of England’s target of 2%; it remains higher than in recent years and is only a tad shy of May’s rate, which represented a four-year high.

“Inflation has fallen, but freelancers are still feeling the squeeze,” IPSE said. “[So it’s] a welcome change to the pretty much continuous increase since autumn last year, [but] it's not enough to stop the cost of living squeeze."

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