In its submission to the imminent Budget, ‘Fast Forward’ techUK sets out its proposals to achieve the Government’s aims of accelerating UK growth, levelling up the country, and taking on the climate emergency in order to unleash Britain’s potential.
Figures released by DCMS last month show that the tech sector continues to be one of the leading lights of the UK economy, growing 7.9% from 2017 to 2018, nearly six times faster than the economy as a whole and adding £149 billion overall. This equates to more than £400 million per day.
The submission sets out a number of proposals across three priorities for Government: accelerating UK growth, levelling up the country, and tackling the climate emergency.
Putting digital at the heart of business will lead to productivity gains. To achieve this the Government must:
· Secure £100 million for a digital adoption fund that will help over 100,000 UK businesses get their first foot on the digital ladder towards greater productivity.
· Create a digital business link of experienced programme managers to deliver digital upskilling advice to businesses across the country.
· Fund an ambitious clusters programme to match the world-leading enterprise zones found in China and Israel.
Levelling up the country
To make sure that the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are spread across the country, this Budget should contain plans to:
· Press ahead with rollout of UK broadband infrastructure by setting out a road map to full fibre and unlocking investment by matching the 2029 business rate relief available in Scotland, in England.
· Fundamentally change the way we do research and development (R&D) through the creation of a UK ARPA, a high-risk, high-reward research agency to attract world-leading scientists and support a step change in the way the UK does research and science.
Tackling the climate emergency
This Government must be ambitious in its plans to use the power of technology to take on the climate crisis and allow the UK to secure a global comparative advantage in green tech. Progress towards this can be made by:
· Launching a new Centre for AI and Climate Change at the COP26 conference in Glasgow.
· Creating an energy route map to help the UK’s world-leading data centre sector decarbonise, making the UK the lead destination for green data, and supporting the rollout of e-vehicles across the country.
You can read the full suggestions in techUK’s budget submission here.