Opinion

A budget lacking IT substance


What was lacking in the emergency budget delivered by the Chancellor George Osborne was any real talk of the necessity of maintaining an investment in ensuring Britain remained at the forefront of web and creative developments.

Previous budgets have mentioned Digital Britain and the need to make Britain a world beater alongside the emerging economies of China, India and Brazil but this time around there was an almost complete absence of mention of the emerging industries that are seen by some as vital to ensuring the UK remains competitive in the future.

The video games industry did get a mention as the Chancellor George Osborne said that the tax credits that were being set aside for that industry were being canned.

The main focus of any technology mention was the scrapping of the landline tax, which had been floated as an idea by the last Labour government as the way of paying for super fast broadband. Now with that scrapped there will be some money that has come as a result of the digital switchover not costing as much but the emphasis will be on private companies to fill the gap.

Bearing in mind we are in a recession, private companies are looking for a return which rural broadband might not give them. It is a solution that will not provide the service that the UK needs and one that takes what has been a public issue and takes it off the government radar.

From a channel perspective of course the budget offered lots on taxes and benefits but for the country as a technology point of view it was a budget lacking a great deal of substance.

This was first published in June 2010

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