Infrastructure Investment and Innovation

In the 2017 Autumn Budget, the Chancellor emphasised the importance of tech, fast-growth business and investing. Here, DUA’s team of expert accountants in Watford explain how the government intends to increase infrastructure investment and innovation – and what these plans mean for your business.

A Focus on Infrastructure

At the foundation of the Chancellor’s plans to promote business is the development of extensive infrastructure. The goal is to build strong infrastructural networks outside of London, so that the entire country is fortified with the resources to run businesses efficiently and effectively. That’s why the Autumn Budget detailed a plan to pledge £1.7 billion to the new Transforming Cities Fund – so that locations outside the capitol can improve transportation and attract business.

While this funding is not funneled directly into business, it will undoubtedly impact companies of all sizes within the affected communities. Furthermore, the implementation of full-fibre broadband and 5G will help businesses carry out their daily operations with greater efficiency.

Encouraging Investment

The annual limit for individuals investing through the Enterprise Investment Scheme is to be doubled to £2 million, as long as anything beyond £1 million is invested in knowledge-intensive companies. This move will assist more businesses in getting their feet off the ground with help from individual investors – and more investment money floating around will mean improved technology and more innovation. Given that UK businesses could lose access to the European Investment Fund once Brexit is finalized, the scheme’s increased limit is a particularly welcome announcement.

Fostering Innovation

Through education initiatives with a focus on science, maths, computer science, technology and engineering, the Chancellor is hoping to shape the next generation of innovators in both business and in academic fields. Trade and industry unions will also take part in a National Retraining Scheme to teach digital skills. The future of British companies lies in the digital prowess of the workforce, so education is of the utmost importance.

Another way the Chancellor hopes to foster innovation is through an increase in research and development tax relief, which will change from 11% to 12%. Though tax relief is a very different approach than education, both tactics aim to provide companies with the resources they need to engage in the ‘technological revolution’, both today and in the future.

The fast-paced world of business is always evolving in response to everything – from new measures set out by the government to economic fluctuations – and that’s where DUA can help. Our team is constantly striving to equip you with the information and knowledge you need to succeed financially, whether you’re running your own tech business or looking for investment opportunities.

The Autumn Budget underscored how an increase in infrastructure and investment will support the development of advanced technology and the growth of business. Get in touch with our business advisors and accountants in Watford and London today to learn how you’re affected by the changes outlined in the budget, and how you can take advantage of its tax incentives and other business-friendly measures.