General Election: Which manifesto helps TechCo’s ?
With the 8 June general election fast approaching, directors of technology companies will be scanning the main manifestos to consider which party is potentially offering the most useful new policies for their business:
Conservatives (link to 84 page manifesto)
- Running a balanced budget by the middle of the next decade.
- Reforming business rates.
- Reducing red tape.
- National living wage increased to 60% of median earnings by 2020.
- Protecting gig economy workers.
- Further reduce tax evasion, by tougher regulation of tax advisory firms.
- Make executive pay packages subject to annual shareholder votes.
- To turn the UK into the most innovative country in the world (via investing at least 2.4% of GDP in R&D within 10 years, aiming for 3% beyond that). Further incentives to be offered under EIS and SEIS share schemes.
- Creating a £23 billion National Productivity Fund to improve productivity (including R&D).
- Aiming for 33% of Government spending to be with SME’s by the end of the current Parliament.
- Developing a Digital Charter, to balance freedoms with protections.
- By the end of 2017 for 95% of premises to have access to superfast broadband. Further fibre spine connectivity targets beyond that,
Labour (link to 124 page manifesto)
- Income tax rises for those earning over £80k pa (£80k to £123k @ 45%, >£123k @ 50%).
- Businesses which pay employees over £300k pa to face a 2.5% surcharge (rising to 5% where pay exceeds £500k pa).
- Larger corporates to pay corporation tax at 26% instead of the current 19%.
- Small businesses (turnover < £85k) to be excluded from the planned introduction of Making Tax Digital.
- £250 billion investment in our transport, energy and digital infrastructure over the next 10 years (including promising superfast broadband to all households by 2022.
- To appoint a Digital Ambassador, to liaise with technology companies, “to promote Britain as an attractive place for investment and provide support to start ups to grow and prosper in the digital age.”
- To establish a National Investment Bank, with £250bn of capital, to fill current lending gaps to small higher-risk R&D intensive businesses.
- To ensure 60% of the UK’s energy by 2020 comes from zero carbon or renewable sources.
- Aim to spend at least 3% of GDP on R&D by 2030.
- Banning of zero hours contracts.
- Raise the minimum wage to the living wage.
- Banning umbrella companies.
Liberal Democrats (link to 95 page manifesto)
- A second referendum on whether or not to leave the EU, once Brexit terms have been negotiated.
- 1p rise in income tax.
- £100 billion of infrastructure spending.
- Reform of capital gains taxes (including entrepreneurs relief) and dividend taxes.
- Increase corporation tax back up to 20%.
- Ring fence the government spending science budget.
- Build on the success of Tech City, Tech North and the Cambridge tech cluster with a network across the UK acting as incubators for technology companies.
- New tax support to encourage the creative industries.
- Modernise employment rights, to fit in with the gig economy.
- Banning of zero hours contracts.
- In 250+ employee listed employers, giving staff the right to request shares.
Quite a few similarities between the parties, but interesting how many times the word ‘Digital’ is mentioned in each manifesto:
- Conservatives 66
- Labour 9
- Liberal Democrats 8
Blog entry by: Ian Piper