It’s Budget day!

 

George Osbourne presented his summer budget to a packed House of Commons this afternoon. We were watching at ihorizon, and while the focus has been on welfare cuts (with sadly not much to say about tech), we’ve pulled together the key points relating to startups and entrepreneurs in the first non-coalition budget for 5 years – Sorry Danny Alexander, you’re not invited this time 🙁

 

Innovation

We kick off with a look at innovation in fintech. Osbourne is quick to emphasise the need to look outside London #northernpowerhouse. The plan is to invest £23m in 6 Next Generation Digital Economy Centres over 6 sites, Swansea, Newcastle, Nottingham, York, Bath AND London – which will get £4m for a digital research facility at UCL.

 

Corporation Tax

Corporation is currently at 20% following cuts last year, but it’s going down again! In a bid to create more jobs it’s going down to 19% in 2017, and then to 18% by 2020 “Britain is open for business” declares George above the roar of some loud-mouthed back-benchers.

 

Employment allowance

…Is up to 3k! To help companies with the new higher living wage (I’ll get on to that shortly) the employment allowance will be increased from 2000 to 3000 next year, meaning small firms can employ 4 people (at minimum wage)  and pay no National Insurance. Not bad!

 

Venture Capital Schemes

Changes will be made to the SEIS, EIS and VCT schemes following a consultation completed in March. There will be a cap on the total investment a company can get through these schemes of £20m (for knowledge intensive companies, and £12m for other companies). This could potentially cause a problem for further down the line for EIS funds wanting to follow on into later rounds, we’ll need to see how that plays out.

 

ISAs for Crowdfunding

Hidden away in the details was a useful little announcement for all you crowdfunders out there. There will be a consultation due to end in September, gaining views on whether crowdfunding based investment should qualify for ISAs. Watch this space.

 

In other news…

  • Maintenance Grants will replace student loans
  • The tax-free personal allowance threshold will be raised to £11k from next year, and the 40p threshold will be raised to £43k.
  • New national living wage will be introduced of £7.20 from next year, going up to £9 by 2020

 

What’s missing….

Any real mention of tech.

 

You can read the full budget on the government’s website here.