Many businesses in the UK will be watching announcements closely this week about the central Government spending review. We feel that there will be a mixed impact on the translation industry. The same is true of other areas of the economy.

Government spending review impact

Much of our work is private sector. You could therefore assume that as a business we would be sitting there quite smug. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Firstly, whilst we aren’t directly affected that much, some of our clients are likely to be. For example our construction industry clients, could be directly affected by cuts in Government spending programmes. Then there is the voluntary sector.

David Cameron has set out a “big society” vision, and praised the voluntary sector. He suggests it should make a bigger contribution. However, Notts County Council have already announced substantial grant aid cuts to the sector. We expect other councils to mirror this across the country.

Interpreting and Government spending

Interpreting is a big area of spend by Government. You would probably expect this to be an area of cut backs. We aren’t that directly affected here, as it isn’t a big area of work for us. However, less work for public service interpreters is likely to be bad for the translation industry. This could discourage new entrants from training, and entering the profession.

Business support and RDAs

Then there is business support. The government has already announced substantial headline changes here. The abolition of RDAs and Business Link, for example. It is so far unclear what will come next. As a small, but growing company, you would think the Government would be keen to support us. Yet the business support message is at best confusing. We need to live in real time. Finding support, and making decisions about how we develop. Lack of Government clarity doesn’t help here. We await future developments with interest.

Conclusions

So what do we think will be the direct result of the spending review on our industry? We think some of the larger agencies could be quite badly affected, especially those with large Government contracts. Lack of business support could hit some of the smaller agencies, especially those like ourselves looking to grow.