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Budget 2021 Commentary: Technology

Green Recovery opportunities significant

David Hough, Partner

Green investment

“The Prime Minister’s 10-point Green Recovery Plan was announced last year and the Chancellor is right to say that the opportunities for the country are significant if the UK invests in the green economy. However, it remains clear that the private sector is being looked at to provide the capital with Government contributions to investment schemes modest proportionate to the goals set by the Prime Minister. Enhanced green tax reliefs, or Government grants, to bring investment in new technologies such as carbon capture and battery storage, were unfortunately missing from the announcement.”

Going digital

“Training and access to expertise is one of the biggest barriers to small businesses moving online. Free access to training and discounts on productivity-enhancing software for small businesses were welcome announcements but introducing software is only part of the solution. Company management needs local authority-led guidance on the capability of technology to grow their business, helping guide them on the skills their future workforce will need and access to training and apprenticeship schemes to support this need. Announcements on existing training schemes and enhancements to business support on hiring apprentices were fairly modest and it is not clear how they will be focused on supporting the shift to digital working.”

Capital investment in new technologies

“Enhanced tax deductions for capital investment over the next two years create opportunities for businesses to update their technology infrastructure. The transition to Industry 4.0 and the use of smart technologies requires upfront capital spend and these reliefs will prove advantages to businesses with cash reserves.”

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