110 pro-growth measures announced in Autumn Statement
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has outlined an ambitious innovation drive with 110 pro-growth measures in his Autumn Statement.
The Chancellor announced a £320 million plan to unlock investment from his Mansion House Reforms, including measures that are expected to provide an additional £1,000 for pension pots each year while also freeing up new investment vehicles to support innovative UK companies. This will be supported by a new Growth Fund established within the British Business Bank.
Andrew Drylie, Investment Manager for Quadri Ventures, commented: “The Chancellor’s Mansion House Compact was a positive step for early-stage startups, unlocking a significant amount of previously untouchable capital from pension funds. However, if the UK is going to deliver on its lofty Silicon Valley aims, capital alone is not enough to get these startups off the ground. We need to invest in the infrastructure and people that can allow early-stage businesses to grow, equipping them with the right skills and guidance to support long-term growth plans and ultimately lead innovation initiatives that can help them thrive.”
There was also an emphasis on business investment, building upon the £1 billion investment for 12 investment zones launched in the Spring Budget, adding a further three zones which would create over 65,000 new jobs and billions in investment.
Sachin Agrawal, UK Managing Director at Zoho Corporation, comments: “The continued development of investment zones across the UK is a positive outcome from the Autumn Statement, supporting local economies and helping to distribute economic wealth more effectively.
“Developing research hubs, investing in local infrastructure, and creating thousands of new jobs will make regions outside of busy city centres more attractive for businesses. They can cut costs on overheads, tap into new regional talent pools, and better support the work-life balance of employees. This investment can bring more opportunities to rural areas, stemming the typical talent drain that sees workers move away to follow opportunities in cities. A major benefit for staff is that they can live a more affordable lifestyle and stay closer to their families, away from overcrowded cities, especially when supported by hybrid or remote working models.
“Technology plays a central role in creating a seamless working experience for employees, whether they are at home or in the office, and measures such as full expensing in the Autumn Statement can allow firms to increase investment in new technology and equipment to facilitate this. It is important to ensure that employees are able to be productive regardless of location, utilising unified systems that incorporate a variety of ways to communicate and collaborate, boosting both productivity and staff motivation to ultimately support business growth.”
As part of the 110 pro-growth measures in the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced the extension of the full expensing of business investment, enabling businesses to deduct investment in new technology and equipment from taxable profits.
The Chancellor also announced an additional £500 million in funding over the next two years for AI innovation centres to make the UK an ‘AI powerhouse’.
Wayne Johnson, CEO and Co-Founder of Encompass Corporation, said: “It is encouraging, and much-needed, to see the UK doubling down on commitment to the technology industry, particularly in regards to investment, within the Autumn Statement. Investors and businesses alike must be empowered to continue to drive and support the critical innovation that is so important across the country, and doing this in a way that builds on the UK's ambitious science and technology superpower aims is vital if positive progress is to be seen. This support, and tangible impact, is imperative to bolstering the UK's position as a leading global technology hub that can truly flourish, while also supporting businesses and the wider economic landscape in areas including job creation.
"Measures such as the Mansion House Reforms can give businesses the freedom to research and develop new technologies that can have a transformative cross-industry impact, as well as enable the investor market to have confidence in providing the support needed. When it comes to addressing critical issues such as financial crime, the importance of utilising the latest in technology solutions could not be greater. Leveraging Know Your Customer (KYC) process automation, for example, delivers real time digital risk profiles that can not only save institutions hours but ensure continuous compliance.
“While the innovation-focused measures outlined within the Autumn Statement represent a positive step, there is much more to be done. Commitment to fostering an environment that allows innovation, and the businesses at the forefront, to succeed must be a priority if the UK's full potential is to be unlocked to wide-ranging benefit."
Khalid Talukder, Co-Founder of DKK Partners, commented: “The UK has its sights set on becoming a technology superpower, and the measures from today’s Autumn Statement can empower businesses to lead innovation and make the UK an attractive destination for technology development. The tech and FinTech industries in particular will act as powerhouses for economic growth, facilitating overseas investment and international trade, driven by forward-thinking startups and SMEs. The payments sector, especially, is seeing large growth, and further developing the technology to connect the UK to emerging markets can open up a whole new world for businesses to trade, collaborate and innovate.”