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Incentivise UK Scientists and Entrepreneurs with tax breaks to meet the green agenda

The Government has to incentivise UK scientists and business entrepreneurs by giving them a variety of tax breaks if it is meet its green agenda, says David Hough.

The Government’s 10-point green plan is a positive step in addressing the challenges of climate change, but in order to make the UK the centre of the green economy, further scientific and business incentivisation is needed right now.

The challenge of becoming net-zero is a global one and for countries that develop the skills, expertise and infrastructure early, there is an opportunity for significant export in the next few decades and the UK needs to be at the forefront.

Developing sophisticated technologies such as carbon capture, enhanced vehicle battery life and low emission aviation requires significant investment in research, training and infrastructure. It is fair to say that the economic opportunity for countries that lead the way in developing technology to address climate change can generate a strong financial return due to the export opportunities it brings.

However, the financial commitments made by the Government are modest and there needs to be an acknowledgement that research and development (R&D) of new ideas is inherently risky.

Enhanced R&D tax credits for green initiatives could help put funds back in the hands of green technology entrepreneurs to further their ideas and we need the Chancellor to carefully consider the pitfalls of the Office for Tax Simplification’s suggestion to align Capital Gains Tax with Income Tax.

Low tax rates for entrepreneurs and their investors encourage investment in the UK and there is a risk that the UK could be left behind. Crucially, jobs are created elsewhere if the green economy is not incentivised by the Treasury.

We need a clear road map of how the various elements of the plan will contribute to net-zero and what the technological developments required are. Incentivised investment should be targeted on solutions to address shortfalls in the plan, ensuring that money is spent where it is required, and contracts are awarded at a good return to the taxpayer.

Would you like to know more?

If you would like to discuss any of the above, please contact David Hough using the details on this page.

You can also visit our Technology Hub for more information.