Budget has not addressed Brexit fears of tech sector

budget 2017 preThe tech sector may find it difficult to see the positives in Philip Hammond’s ‘tech-boosting’ Autumn Budget.

The tech sector seems to be unimpressed and it still has fears over Brexit uncertainty and lower productivity.

techUK deputy CEO, Antony Walker, writes:

“The reality for many UK tech businesses is that the Budget measures announced in yesterday’s Autumn Budget will not make up for the uncertainty created by Brexit. To really be ‘fit for the future’, tech businesses need to know what that future holds.”

Walker says the tech sector sees an urgent need for progress in the Brexit negotiations, including securing a transition deal on which businesses can make future investment decisions.

“This may not be in the Chancellor’s hands, but will determine whether the UK thrives or falters in the global, tech-led future, on the horizon,” said Walker.

Walker said the sector will see this as “a fitness-boosting tech Budget but many will question if it’s enough to prepare the UK for the long uphill road ahead”.

“While the Chancellor has identified the right priorities, the overall economic forecast and tight spending constraints means that the amount of funding available is small relative to the growth potential of the sector,” said Walker.

The down-grading of the OBR forecasts is a big worry too. It shows the real impact of continuing failure to crack the UK’s productivity problem.

“We would have liked to have seen more demand side measures to boost productivity. Supporting small businesses across the country to digitise and take advantage new technologies is the best way to increase their productivity,” said Walker.

See also: Autumn Budget 2017: AI, EVs and STEM

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