CONFIDENCE levels among the UK’s freelance community are at their lowest level since records began because of the impact of Brexit and the Conservative Government’s policies.

Research conducted by IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed found that more than half of freelancers (52 per cent) said confidence in their business for the next 12 months had decreased.

Just 19 per cent of freelancers expressed confidence in their business’ performance over the next 12 months.

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Along with Brexit, freelancers attribute their concerns to government policy relating to taxation and regulatory constraints as the main factors behind their declining confidence in the freelance business sector.

Two-thirds also expressed grave concerns about the wider economy with 69 per cent of respondents predicting a major slowdown in the economy.

A striking 92 per cent of freelancers expect their business costs to increase over the next year with just four per cent expecting them to fall.

The survey questions the likes of managerial, professional and technology-based freelancers.

Those surveyed said their day rates remained strong in Q2 and they were working 83 per cent of their time, maintaining a long-term pattern of high activity.

Suneeta Johal, IPSE Head of Research, Education and Training, said: “Freelancers attribute their loss of confidence to the economic pressure from Brexit and the negative consequences of government policy relating to the regulation and taxation of freelance work. This can be linked to the roll-out of changes to taxation of freelancers working in the public sector. “