Resellers are sceptical that a change in the country’s premiership will have any benefit for the channel after Gordon Brown took up residency at 10 Downing Street last week.
In his former role as chancellor, Brown upset a large proportion of the channel when he decided to axe the Home Computing Initiative (HCI) in last year’s Budget. Many HCI resellers went out of business and those that survived have had to fight just to keep their heads above water.
Martin Prescott, managing director of Red PC Services, a former HCI VAR, said: “Brown is a lot more dangerous than Blair, as although he does not say much, he never stops tinkering with the details.
“Brown is responsible for stealth taxes and the axing of HCI and I think he has the potential to be very damaging for business, particularly SMEs.”
Mike Lawrence, managing director of VAR Bentpenny, agreed.
“This is the man who virtually invented the stealth tax single-handedly and has been manipulating our economy for years,” he said. “We have to wait and see what he’ll do, but I have no great expectations.”
Robin Barker, a director at VAR Blueloop, said: “I don’t foresee any change at all. The IT industry wasn’t high on Blair’s agenda and I don’t think it will be on Brown’s.”
However, tax principal Victor Dauppe at accountancy firm MacIntyre Hudson, felt Brown could be looking to become more pro-business.
“He’s announced plans to set up a business advisory council for the UK with council members including some high-level business leaders,” he said. “I’m not sure if this would benefit small businesses, but it shows he is willing to consult businesses.”
Eric Woods, government practice leader at analyst Ovum, added: “IT will not be the greatest concern for Brown, but inevitably he will find it impinging on the programmes and goals that are his priorities and will be keen to avoid IT disasters.”
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