The press headlines are focused on the personal tax credits and how the cuts have been shelved, with the new forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasting sufficient extra income to persuade the austerity to look elsewhere and save some political face.
Conspicuous by its absence though was mention of the R&D tax credits and relief. Having received a boost in the last budget announcement they were left well alone in the review, and remain a strong and highly effective incentive for technically minded companies. When done professionally they can reduce tax bills, provide cash from loss and allow greater investment in new development work. Ask us how we can help you access it.
A brief summary of the increases in R&D spending announced
· Science resource funding to rise in real terms to £4.7 bilion per year for the rest of the parliament.
· A new body is planned to be introduced, called Research UK. This will work strategically across the seven Research Councils (science focused funding and steering bodies), taking a longer term view. Innovate UK helps commercialise technology; this body will be incorporated into Research UK but still exist.
· There is already a government commitment to spend to build the UK’s research base, to the tune of £6.9 billion between 2015-2021. Around £150 million (total capital and resource) will launch a competition for a Dementia Institute, to build on the UK’s strengths in medical research.
· The “Northern Powerhouse” gets its own investment fund of £400 million to invest in smaller businesses. The Enterprise Zones programme for the Northern Powerhouse will also be doubled in size with 7 new zones and 2 extended. The government will also be providing £50 million for 2 new agricultural technology centres in York for the food and farming supply chain.
· Good news for the north continues, with £15 million of funding to support further Northern Powerhouse trade missions including to key emerging economies, and £7 million for a “Northern Powerhouse Investment Taskforce”, to bring “the authorities and businesses of the North together to present a single internationally competitive offer to the world.”
· Over £130 million capital will be invested in Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) science facilities, with £5 million specifically to further improve the HQ of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science following its 5 year renovation.
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