MPA Awards Winners 2018

The Budget - Impact on Tech Companies

The Budget - Impact on Tech Companies

Although there was very little on business taxation in the Chancellor’s Budget speech, there was a recognition of the contribution tech companies play in the UK economy, with the announcement of measures to promote the sector. In particular, the Chancellor highlighted the importance they will play in the economy of the future, saying: “We have some of the world’s best companies .and a commanding position in a raft of tech and digital industries that will form the backbone of the global economy.”

There was also an announcement of a £30 million investment in education, to boost the digital skills of the workforce and a further £30 million to improve digital connectivity on the TransPennine train route. That said, many commuters may have preferred a quicker journey, rather than better wifi.

The Chancellor also said he wants the UK to lead the world in developing standards for the use of data and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The government is to create a new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, to ensure safe, ethical and ground breaking innovation in AI and data-driven technologies. It is unclear whether this new body will be a regulator, or aim to empower companies working in this area. Time will tell.

Following this, there was also an update on ‘Tech City’, which is a London-based government funded project that delivers programmes and initiatives to accelerate the growth of digital businesses at all stages of their development. The government is to invest £21 million over the next four years to expand Tech City’s reach so that it becomes ‘Tech Nation’. The UK Games Fund has also been given a further £1 million to extend it to 2020.

5G is to be made available to rail passengers with a view to extending it across the road network. There was also an announcement of a £190 million challenge fund for local areas to access to fund 5G in their area.

Overall, the Budget provides a recognition that the UK has a strong digital and tech community that will be an important part of the country’s economic future.

Article written by
Vicky Szulist, Audit Partner, Crowe Clark Whitehill