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Government investment in technology is simply not good enough

Posted on: 27/11/2017

This level of investment does not satisfy the need.

That’s the verdict of Rebecca Combes, head of Business Tax at Smith & Williamson, the accountancy, investment management and tax groups, South Coast office, in response to today’s Autumn Budget announcement.

In the Budget, Mr Hammond announced:

  • £75m for artificial intelligence
  • £400m for electric car charge points
  • £100m to boost clean car purchases
  • £160m for next-generation 5G mobile networks across the UK

“These amounts are not enough by comparison to what is really needed.”

“Of course, any amount is welcome as it puts the issues front and centre.  However, the aim seems to be to grab headlines, rather than have a material effect.  Looking at AI, the UK has a commercial and technical advantage over most countries: the investment levels need to reflect this to ensure and maintain our competitive advantage.”

“When you consider the hundreds of millions that Google annually invests in its Deepmind AI program, the government cannot sensibly think £75mn will achieve this aim.”


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