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AUTUMN BUDGET 2017: WHAT'S NEXT FOR UK TECH?

Thursday 23rd November 2017
“A new tech business is founded in Britain every hour. I want that to be every half an hour.” A strong statement made by Phillip Hammond; while announcing Britain's ‘productivity’ focused Budget plans at the House of Commons yesterday.

The Chancellor said there would be an expansion in the national productivity investment fund which he launched last year. The fund would rise from £23bn to £31bn to help ‘kickstart’ improvements in efficiency levels across the UK.

“Productivity, as measured by the economic output per hour generated by workers, is a watchword across Whitehall, the City and Bank of England because failure to raise the rate of productivity growth significantly will prevent the economy from growing at speed over the next 10 years.”

In a bid to tackle Britain’s current level of low productivity Hammond has focused on driving technology growth. There will be a ‘bolster’ on the number of high tech companies in the UK. With £500m being invested in a range of initiatives, from support for Artificial Intelligence, to a commitment to faster internet and mobile phone infrastructure.

The highly topical skills gap was also addressed, with steps aimed at improving skills in the workforce and an additional £406m for maths and technical education. The government will also create a working group with business and trade unions – a key demand ahead of the budget – to design what Hammond called a national retraining scheme aimed at improving skills amid rapid changes in technology.

So, some pretty exciting times ahead for UK tech it would seem!

Other areas of the budget announcement were left hazy, with still some uncertain times ahead for UK contractor employment. The Chancellor announced a series of consultations and discussion documents, which could suggest the Government is beginning to listen to the flexible working market regarding certain issues, including IR35 and Tax. (Read more here)

What are your thoughts on The Budget announcement? Do you think enough is being invested in Digital Skills? What do you propose could encourage more activity in UK Tech?

Leave your comments or tweet us @AmsourceTech

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