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The Big Chaos TheoryThe Big Chaos Theory

London, March 2017: Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed the UK Spring Budget for 2017. Seven days later, Mr Hammond MP announced the Government has abandoned one of their biggest moves: the increased National Insurance bills for self-employed people. Read our infographic and comments below.

 

Spring Budget 2017 - The Big Chaos Theory

 

London, March 2017: Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed the UK Spring Budget for 2017. Seven days later, Mr Hammond MP announced the Government has abandoned one of their biggest moves: the increased National Insurance bills for self-employed people. The first days after the Budget Speech, the MP received some accusations of a broken Tory pledge.

Now, it all seems a little embarrassing.

Amongst the relatively few other new changes that were announced, the Chancellor announced the introduction of UK VAT on roaming telecoms services used outside the EU for the first time, meaning travellers will see a 20% in extra call charges. Some might argue that after the hard fought battle by the EU to curb excessive roaming charges, this was the Treasury being perhaps a little opportunistic in the #Brexit times we find ourselves in, compensating the loss of income from EU with an increase on a burgeoning long haul business and leisure travel market.

How can the Budget affect you and your business? What do the other changes mean? What matters to UK plc?

 

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It’s All Going So Well….

Last year, after Germany, the UK was the second-fastest growing economy in the G7. The UK economy's growth forecast for 2017 has been upgraded. The Office for Budget Responsibility expects the economy to grow by 2%, up from its previous forecast of 1.4%.However against this optimist growth, Gross Domestic Product (GDP( is expected to slow to 1.6%, 1.7% and 1.9% in subsequent years, before continuously increasing to 2% by 2021.

However against this optimist growth, Gross Domestic Product (GDP( is expected to slow to 1.6%, 1.7% and 1.9% in subsequent years, before continuously increasing to 2% by 2021.

Small Businesses Brought into Line

The Spring Budget was somewhat a gloomy one, especially for SMEs. Small businesses and entrepreneurs might have felt uneasy throughout the Budget Speech but there were some (sort of) silver linings to be had when the Chancellor unveiled a £435 million relief for businesses affected by increases in business rates, including £300m hardship fund for the worst hit.

BBC News reported that, with an ISA allowance of £20,000 available to use from April, finally investors troubled by low-interest rates will, at last, see some incentive in to make their money's work more efficiently.

What could this mean for UK Tech?

The Chancellor made an announcement as to how much investment the Government will provide for the promotion of Science and Technology. With the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), an "initial investment" of £270 million will be spent in 2017/18 to assist "disruptive technologies." These technologies will allow for example for "the development, design and manufacture of batteries that will power the next generation of electric vehicles."

There is also investment available for the development of AI and robotics for specific environments, such as “nuclear energy, space and deep mining”.

5G (Fifth Generation) mobile technology will also see additional investment to “boost the next generation of mobile connectivity”. How long this will take to become reality will be of interest to many given the relative roll out of 4G (there are still large parts of the UK not able to access high-speed mobile data and a major new report from the National Infrastructure Commission claimed that “Britain is 54th in the world for 4G coverage, and the typical user can only access 4G barely half the time; and that the existing 4G network is worse than Romania and Albania, Panama and Peru.” so there’s obviously some work to be done!

 

Read our #Brexit analysis and it might mean for your Business

 

So we have a Budget that added little to the average commercial organisation. We have #Brexit. We have trade negotiations to undertake. We have good employment but faltering productivity. Where are the entrepreneurs today? How are you as a 21st Century business person going to capitalise on the position we find ourselves in effect change (for the good)? 

We’d be interested to hear from you.

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