techUK's March 2023 Budget submission
techUK has made a full March 2023 budget submission in which we urge the Government to restore the tech sector's confidence with measures that get the basics of tech success right and which ready the UK for the future.
The tech sector is routinely cited by leading members of the Government as one of the UK’s economic bright spots, Between 2010 and 2019 the tech sector’s contribution to the UK grew by 25% and that figure keeps on growing. The Chancellor has repeatedly pledged to make the UK the 'world's next Silicon Valley', while in his New Year’s address the Prime Minister vowed the UK must become 'the most innovative economy in the world'.
Yet, while our technology sector has done well for the first time in its modern history there are growing concerns for the future. In techUK’s latest digital economy monitor survey we saw a large drop in confidence, with more than a third (34%) of members surveyed saying they now thought that business conditions in the UK were more likely to get worse than better. At the same time, the Government has cut key support for the sector - reducing the value of the UK’s R&D tax credit and cancelling the Help to Grow: Digital programme- delayed the rollout of making tax digital, and implemented significant new regulation across a range of digital markets. These choices are increasing the costs of doing business and creating a more fraught environment for our most innovative firms.
techUK recommends therefore that in his budget, the Chancellor should focus on three key areas:
Getting the building blocks of tech success right: by ensuring we have the right talent pipeline, digital infrastructure, support for digital adoption and approach to energy costs to remain competitive.
Creating the incentives needed for the UK to compete in the 21st century: through the right incentives for investment, reform of the financial system and access to global markets
Getting ready for the technologies of the future: by delivering the right regulatory frameworks and market support so that the UK can research, develop, and deploy the technologies that will shape tomorrow’s world.
Effecitvely supporting the tech sector in these ways could, by Government's own estimates, create 678,000 jobs by 2025 and add an additional £41.5bn to the UK economy.
However, this requires the Budget to not be another missed opportunity for building confidence in this core sector of the UK economy.