UKBAA statement on the Budget 2017
Jenny Tooth, CEO of UKBAA, said:
“The Chancellor Philip Hammond presided over the his last Spring budget with a set of seemingly incremental and modest measures. The relatively neutral package of measures combining small tax increases and a softer approach to the rise in business rates reflect the facts that (a) we do not yet know the impact of triggering Article 50 and (b) the OBR’s growth estimates for the year ahead are much higher than previously predicted.
“Although the Chancellor renewed the government’s positive drive to ensure that the UK is open for business and recommitted the pledge to reducing corporation tax, the proposed increase in national insurance payments for the self-employed may impact on many startups, and the reduction in tax allowances for those who use service companies to pay themselves via dividends may impact on early-stage businesses and also investors who use such vehicles.
UKBAA supports the provision of £270 million for new technologies such as robotics, biotech and driverless cars; the £15 million further support for the development of 5G; and the £400 million for digital infrastructure development. It was good to see a clear emphasis on increasing UK tech talent, with £250 million being allocated to the development of high-skilled research talent and £100 million being committed to attracting talent from abroad.
“It may be said that there was little overall in the budget to drive additional productivity or to address our current dependence on growth through consumer spending. However, it is clear that this is an interim budget, with the Chancellor keeping his powder dry until the Autumn budget, when the impact of Brexit is starting to be felt in our economy.”