SMEs and large enterprises in the technology sector could benefit from the Budget unveiled by chancellor George Osborne today as he seeks to foster growth in the UK economy.
Osborne announced that the government will introduce a moratorium on "domestic regulations" for the next three years to encourage startups and firms employing fewer than 10 people.
Small company R&D tax credits will rise by 200 per cent and then to 225 per cent in an effort to help encourage the development of new services that will generate future revenues.
Osborne also said that a new venture called Start-up Britain will encourage new business development, and that the government will look to improve the country's intellectual property regulations, although no hard details were given.
The Small Business Rate Relief holiday will also be continued until October 2012.
The government underlined its commitment to keep large enterprises in the UK by announcing that corporation tax will be reduced by two per cent, rather than the one per cent previously announced, from April 2011.
Osborne added that this will continue to come down over time to be as low as 23 per cent by 2015, making it the lowest of all G7 nations.
"Britain is open for business. We want to make Britain the place where international businesses go, not where they leave," he said.
Several major technology firms, such as Facebook and Google, have their European headquarters in Dublin to take advantage of the lower corporate tax rate of 12.5 per cent, so the government will be hoping to encourage them into Britain.
Osborne also revealed that the government will create 21 enterprise zones in major regions across the country offering superfast broadband networks and reduced business rates.
The first locations will be developed in Birmingham, the Black Country, Leeds, Greater Manchester, Tyneside, Bristol, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Sheffield, with the rest to be revealed in the summer.
The last location will be in London in an area to be chosen by mayor Boris Johnson.
Finally, 24 new technical colleges will be funded to develop the skills necessary to meet the demands of UK enterprises in an increasingly digital world.
Bindi Bhullar, director of outsourcing firm HCL Technologies, welcomed this funding, arguing that the government recognises the important contribution this sector can make to the economy.
"It is great to see that this Budget has not overlooked the wealth of technology talent available to investors and the efficiencies it can bring to businesses, particularly during a challenging economic climate," he said.
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