The technology industry has slammed the government’s failure to identify IT as a key driver of economic growth, following chancellor George Osborne’s 2013 budget announcement.
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Julian David, director general of Intellect, said: “It remains a concern that, despite representing 12% of GDP, the chancellor failed to directly reference the UK’s tech sector." He said technology start-ups were a key area of green shoots. "The chancellor cannot afford to take this growth for granted,” said David.
A spokeswoman at the BCS added that the budget was “IT light” in its impact on the technology sector.
David Roberts, director of The Corporate IT Forum, said: “The Budget is good news for the aerospace technology industry and for SMEs involved in 'digital content production'. However, when you consider the vital role that information technology plays in the success of UK business, this is much too narrow a focus."
Matthew Finnie, CTO of cloud company Interoute, said: “It’s really disappointing that today’s budget speech included no reference to the tech industry.
"Last year we were inspired with the promise of incentives to support UK tech investment, and a vow to make the UK the tech centre of Europe.
"But George Osborne was curiously quiet on this today, leaving us to wonder – what has happened to last year’s bold claims?
“In today’s internet-focused world, surely there’s no doubt that encouraging our technology industry is absolutely key to economic growth and success? The UK has the ideas, energy and innovation to make the UK a world leading technology centre, but it needs the right support and investment."
However, Intellect’s David welcomed the move to support SMEs and start-ups. “Today’s budget showed that the chancellor is willing to take action to support start-ups and SMEs and this is very welcome. But more must be done to future-proof the UK’s position as a serious contender in the global race to be the world leader in tech and safeguard the progress of our high growth industries.
“I am delighted that the chancellor has taken measures to support tech start-ups and SMEs through indicating an upcoming extension to the Funding for Lending scheme, as we called for ahead of the budget. However, there must be progress made on ensuring the credit flows to SMEs and start-ups in the growing tech sector in order to ensure that this has real economic and ‘on the ground’ impact,” he said.