We’ve just come back from the offices of Mitchells Accountants in Chesterfield, where James has taken part in a business discussion put on by the Derbyshire Times and Destination Chesterfield and today’s Budget.
Now, the devil is always in the detail when it comes to Budgets, and it has to be said that the measures introduced by Philip Hammond today were set against some pretty dismal growth prospects for the UK economy.
There was, however, some good news for smaller technology, digital, science and advanced manufacturing businesses. This included promises from the Chancellor to:
- Increase funding and R&D tax credits for science and innovation
- Boost investment in Artificial Intelligence, 5G and fibre broadband technologies
- Spend £400m on a national charging network for electric cars
- Boost maths skills (£40m more for maths teachers and £600 per A-level maths student premium)
- Triple the number of computer science teachers
- Offer more training for digital skills
- Extend funding and support to help technology startups scale-up
There were also some developments that will affect larger, international digital businesses. The Chancellor announced plans to apply income tax on digital revenues received in the UK and moved to lower tax organisations elsewhere, and will also make online marketplaces jointly liable for VAT on sales made through their platforms.