Another year comes to an end and with it, our usual reflection. Once again it has been matters outside the business world, such as the conflict in the Middle East and the continuing troubles in Ukraine, that have dominated the news. The human suffering in these places and others where terrorism is present should not be happening in 2023.

Closer to home, we are seeing most businesses in our client base performing strongly. Whilst certain areas can find it difficult, we are observing the internal restructuring that took place as a result of Covid, delivering benefits to their businesses. There is however, no doubt that 2024 will be a challenge. Many people and businesses are still on fixed rate borrowings, taken out before the recent rates, however we know that many are due to come to an end next year. There is also the difficulty in managing the wage/recruitment balance for our clients. With the Government announcing yet another large increase in the minimum wage from April 2024, it will now cost almost £25,000 to take on a single employee. The knock-on effect for other employees to maintain differentials could prove costly.

Most commentators expect there to be a General Election in 2024 (there has to be one by January 2025) and historically, election years have proved difficult for commerce. There will no doubt be political posturing for being the party for businesses, pre-election tax cuts and the inevitable consequence of a lack of focus on the macro economy.

Whatever the New Year brings, we at George Hay will be with you. On behalf of all of us at George Hay, we thank you for your support during this year and look forward to working with you in 2024.

Season’s Greetings to you all.


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