Cuts, cuts, cuts… Only Wayne Rooney’s fall from grace at Manchester United has taken up more column inches.

IT contractors will have been somewhat concerned at the announcement of cuts to public sector IT projects. But, is it all bad news? Let’s have a quick look…

Starting with the bad news…

* The huge cuts in public sector spending and employment will necessarily cancel many potential IT contracts because unfortunately IT will be seen as one of the departments where money can be cut without suffering too many scathing headlines.

* The chancellor’s announcement of a permanent levy on the banks will likely see a reduction in IT contractors. Though many commentators feel the Government went lightly with the banks, possibly as a consequence of their threats to relocate overseas if the levy was too harsh.

* HMRC are being forced to find 15% in savings. This will most likely be achieved through cutting IT spend (despite the fact that HMRC’s systems have come under scrutiny thanks to recent high profile errors).

…And finishing with the good news

* IT contractors are likely to benefit from major projects in transport and infrastructure, renewables, civil engineering, nuclear and offshore sectors.

* Whilst in some cases the massive cuts in public spend will have a detrimental effect on the IT contracting workforce, in other instances cuts may actually be beneficial. Many permanent workers will undoubtedly be lost leaving a potential gap for independent contractors who can provide essential tasks as and when needed.