Ahead of the Chancellor’s fourth budget of this term, Intellect, the trade association for the UK tech sector, outlined three critical issues that need addressing in the 2013 budget in order to boost business confidence:
- Support the green shoots: incentivise large tech firms to nurture young tech businesses
- Branching out: encourage lending to small and medium tech companies looking to export and expand in to new markets
- Nurture talent: allocate ring-fenced apprenticeships funding for specified growth sectors including tech.
Commenting ahead of the Budget, Julian David, director general of Intellect said: ‘This budget comes at a tipping point for the UK economy. On one hand, there are serious concerns that the UK could be facing a triple dip recession and this fear has been magnified due to Moody’s downgrading of the UK’s AAA rating. On the other, there are promising signs of growth especially from the tech sector where young companies are springing up and established tech businesses are continuing to expand and create jobs. The Chancellor must take decisive action to tip the scales in favour of growth and support the upsurge of tech in the UK.
“The UK tech sector represents 12% of the UK’s GDP and is so often cited as the shining example of an industry emerging with strength from the economic downturn.”
Support the green shoots – Large tech companies should be explicitly encouraged to invest time, mentoring and professional counsel in nascent tech firms through a progressive tax incentive. The Chancellor should look to offer a corporation tax subsidy to enable this outlay and safeguard the long term future of innovative tech start ups in the UK.
Branching out – Young tech businesses must be supported in reaching new markets to increase their commercial opportunities and build the wider reputation of the UK as a world leader in innovative and smart tech developments. Increased pressure must be levied on the banks to ensure that growing tech start ups are able to access vital finance to expand and internationalise their businesses.
Nurture talent – For tech in the UK to grow and to support the UK’s position in the global race for digital dominance, the Chancellor must support the sector by ring-fencing apprenticeships funding for businesses in high growth sectors, such as tech, to draw down for training new staff.