TechUK has hailed chancellor George Osborne's focus on skills, science, exports and infrastructure, but lamented the missed opportunity for the UK to become an IoT powerhouse.
In his Autumn Statement today Osborne (pictured) outlined his plans to continue reducing the UK's huge deficit and also said that the British economy's growth had been revised upwards to three per cent.
In a boon for small businesses he signalled a doubling of the small business rate relief and a review of the structure of business rates, and outlined a number of investments in areas such as the NHS, science, road building and flood defences, along with the development of a new advanced material science institute in Manchester with branches in Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool.
He also hinted that there would be a crackdown on large-scale tax avoiders such as the multinational IT players like Google and Amazon, that will face up to a 25 per cent on their UK-generated income.
However Julian David, chief executive of techUK, said the chancellor didn't go far enough when it came to fighting for the UK's place in the global technology pecking order.
"Today the chancellor made it clear that tech has a fundamental role to play in the UK's long-term economic future," he said. "The focus on skills, exports, science and infrastructure will all help the UK to compete successfully in the global digital economy. The UK tech sector has been an engine for growth over the last five years and today's announcements will strengthen its long-term prospects, particularly in the North.
"Long-term investment in science, innovation and infrastructure will provide a platform for growth.
"The missed opportunity of today was the failure to provide greater backing of the UK as a world leader in the Internet of Things (IOT). This will be the next internet revolution. Countries like China and India are now outpacing the UK in the race to seize this £4.6tn opportunity. We call on the government to look at this issue again," he said.
David also welcomed the proposed tax changes: "On the proposed ‘Diverted Profits Tax', it is clear that over many years global corporate tax rules have become outdated, complex and opaque. The way to remedy this is not through unilateral action but through international co-operation to make rules simpler and more transparent. Today's announcement is part of an ongoing international process through the OECD which techUK supports," he said.
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