Good news for the technology sectors today when Mr Osborne said that he wanted the UK to become “Europe’s technology centre” with the following key announcements:
TAX RELIEF – Corporation tax relief from April 2013 for the video games, animation and high-end television production industries.
BROADBAND AND WIFI – £100m fund aimed at making UK’s 10 largest cities (London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle) “super-connected” with superfast broadband and wi-fi and a further £50m to improve net access in 10 unnamed “smaller cities”. By 2015 it is hoped that this investment will provide ultrafast broadband coverage to 1.7 million households and high-speed wireless broadband for three million residents.
MOBILE COVERAGE – The chancellor also announced plans to extend mobile coverage to 60,000 rural homes and along at least 10 key roads by 2015, including the A2 and A29 in Northern Ireland, the A57, A143, A169, A352, A360 and A591 in England, the A82(T) in Scotland and the A470(T) in Wales, subject to planning permission. Funding would come out of the £150m investment announced in the Autumn Statement. The Government will also consider whether intervention is required to improve mobile coverage for rail passengers.
PATENTS – The chancellor confirmed that the level of corporation tax applied to income from patents will be reduced from 24% to an effective rate of 10% on profits from worldwide sales of products protected by UK patents. The regime will cover technology and manufacturing patents as well as other intellectual property rights. Although this will be phased in over 5 years it appears to have produced an immediate dividend in investment and jobs with today’s announcement that GlaxoSmithKline will invest £500m in manufacturing in the UK which will create 1,000 jobs.
R&D – In a further effort to encourage R&D spending an above the line (ATL) credit will be introduced from April 2013 with a minimum rate of 9.1% before tax and a payable credit for loss making companies.
BBC News Budget Special Coverage http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17372581