Chancellor George Osbourne recently gave his Autumn Statement which was full of drama, surprise and intrigue. Really? No, not really. And for that reason what follows is a very brief guide of what he had to say.

These were the key points from the Chancellor’s announcement:

* Next year, economic growth is expected to be stronger than expected, but this will be followed by slower than expected growth in 2011-2012.

* Borrowing is expected to fall from £148.5 billion to just £18 billion by 2015-16.

* Reflecting on the findings of the OBR, public sector job losses are predicted to total 330,000; that’s down from the 490,000 job losses that were originally feared.

The slowdown in growth in 2011-2012 is being attributed to the rise in VAT (which incidentally takes place on January 4). The good news for most freelancers, contractors and small businesses is that it will have a negligible impact – especially if you do your accounting online with Crunch (the 20% rise is calculated automatically without you doing a thing) – it’s really only a major issue for businesses which have to re-adjust more complicated processes such as product labels and price points for retail operations.

Osbourne’s statement reveals an acceptance that times will continue to be tough, and progress will be slow. Being as it is, the need for a flexible workforce will be crucial to the success of many business operations.