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Budget 2013: IT startups could benefit as Osborne focuses on SMEs

Derek du Preez | March 22, 2013
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, delivered his Budget to the House of Commons today and focused largely on providing benefits to SMEs, including reductions in National Insurance and funding for external advice.

In addition, the government will also be providing £30 million for a Growth Vouchers programme in England. This will test a variety of approaches to helping SMEs overcome barriers to achieve growth, such as limited use of external advice.

For example, the programme will target a number of specific areas, such as making a successful loan application to a bank or taking on an employee.

Osborne also went on to reiterate that the government will not tolerate tax evasion and avoidance - something a number of high profile tech companies have been accused of by MPs.

"Britain is moving to low and competitive taxes. But we should insist people and business pay those taxes, not aggressively avoid them or evade them. That's the right way to succeed in the global race," he said.

"Today, I am unveiling one of the largest ever packages of tax avoidance and evasion measures presented at a Budget. They include agreements with the Isle of Man, Guernsey, and Jersey to bring in over a billion pounds of unpaid taxes. New rules to stop the abuse of partnership rules, corporate tax losses and offshore employment intermediaries."

He added: "That's another two billion pounds. And we will name and shame the promoters of tax avoidance scheme. My message to those who make a living advising other people how aggressively to avoid their taxes is this: This Government is not going to let you get away with it."

Finally, the Chancellor explained how the government plans to support the economy with the infrastructure it needs. He referenced broadband and mobile telephony investments that have already taken place and pointed to an additional £3 billion a year from 2015-16 to support long term infrastructure plans.

Although details of these plans will not be unveiled until June, they may well include technological or telecoms based projects.

"We've switched billions of pounds from current to capital spending since the spending review. But on existing plans, capital spending is still due to fall back in 2015-16. I don't think that's sensible," said Osborne.

"So by using our extra savings from government departments, we will boost our infrastructure plans by £3 billion a year from 2015-16. That's £15 billion of extra capital spending over the next decade."

He added: "Because by investing in the economic arteries of this country, we will get growth flowing to every part of it. And public investment will now be higher on average as a percentage of our national income under our plans than it was in the whole period of the last Government."


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