The general election is upon us and today people will be going to polling stations to cast their vote. 

The manifestos of the Conservative and Labour parties both include commitments to improve R&D spending per GDP.  Investment is UK R&D spending will be vital in maintaining UK competitiveness in light of Brexit.

The UK is currently behind the European average of 2.4%.  The Conservatives aim to equal the average by 2027 with a longer term goal of 3%, but Labour aim to achieve 3% by 2030.  These commitments are welcome news.

In respect of tax, the two main parties are giving businesses and their owners two very different offers. 

On the one hand, the Conservatives intend to continue their plan to reduce corporation tax to 17% (currently 19%).  One of their reasons will be to make the UK attractive for foreign companies.

However, Labour would raise corporation tax to 26%.  This is a less attractive offer but would go some way to meeting their spending targets including government spending on R&D.

To sum up:

Labour

  • Commitment to meeting OECD R&D spending target of 3% of GDP by 2030
  • Raising Corporation Tax to 26%

Conservative

  • Commitment to meeting the OECD R&D spending target average of 2.4% of GDP by 2027 with a longer term goal of 3%
  • Lowering Corporation Tax to 17%