Tech CEO comments on Autumn Statement – Glaring holes in plans to help tech sector thrive

Al Lakhani (CEO of IDEE)

THE Chancellor has announced a £320 million plan to unlock investment from his Mansion House Reforms, including measures that are expected to provide an additional £1,000 for pension pots each year while also freeing up new investment vehicles to support innovative UK companies

Al Lakhani, CEO of IDEE, said:

“From a tech perspective, there were positives in Hunt’s speech, but also some glaring holes, not least where cyber security was concerned. As a severe and universal threat to businesses and nation-states alike, it is imperative that the public and private sectors work together to create an environment that allows for the development and adoption of world-class cybersecurity solutions.

“Simplifying R&D tax credits has been a necessity for years, and the Chancellor was right to acknowledge this, albeit very briefly. But it is too early to celebrate; we need to see what shape the reforms will take, and what types of R&D investment will be eligible. Cybersecurity must be one such area, as it is imperative that companies are encouraged to invest in robust cybersecurity infrastructure. What’s more, it would have been positive to see investment in the provision of cyber security training, with the skills gap a major issue for UK businesses. The recent events concerning the British Library should be a timely reminder – not that one is needed – of how hugely disruptive and damaging cyber-attacks can be. Much more can be done to facilitate progress in cutting-edge cyber security, and today was a missed opportunity.”

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