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Autumn Statement Roundup

By November 23, 2023No Comments

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his much-anticipated Autumn Statement on Wednesday. In this piece, we will pick out all the announcements which are pertinent to IVD businesses.

  • The Government is investing £520 million from 2025‑26 to support transformational manufacturing investments in life sciences.
  • The government is granting £5 million seed funding to help launch The Fleming Centre to help tackle AMR.
  • The Government announced a further £51 million for the Our Future Health (OFH) programme.
  • To support pension scheme investment into the UK’s most innovative companies, the Government will commit £250 million to two successful bidders in the Long-term Investment for Technology and Science (LIFTS) initiative, subject to final agreement.
  • The Government confirmed its intention to establish a Growth Fund within the British Business Bank (BBB to draw upon the BBB’s expertise and a permanent capital base of over £7 billion to give pension funds access to investment opportunities in the UK’s most promising businesses.
  • As per Lord Harrington’s review recommendations, a new Ministerial Investment Group will be established, tasked with driving the government’s ambition on investment. This will be backed by additional resource and an improved toolkit for the Office for Investment, allowing it to deepen its world-class concierge offer to strategically important investors.
  • The Government announced ambitious investments of over £750 million in UK R&D this financial year. These investments include transformative new programmes, including £250 million for long-term world-class Discovery Fellowships, £145 million for new business innovation support.
  • The Government will boost support to university spinouts with £20 million for a new cross-disciplinary proof-of-concept research funding scheme and will also implement all recommendations from the Independent Review of Spin-outs.
  • The Government will legislate to extend the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCT) to 2035 to help SMEs.
  • The Government is extending the British Business Bank’s Future Fund: Breakthrough programme. This will provide at least £50 million additional investment in the UK’s most promising R&D intensive companies and help with scaling up and growth challenges.
  • To unlock business investment the Government will make full expensing permanent – this means companies are rewarded with up to 25p off their tax bill for every £1 that they invest, which amounts to a tax cut of over £10 billion per year.
  • The current R&D Expenditure Credit (RDEC) and SME schemes will be merged from April 2024 onwards, simplifying the system and providing greater support for UK companies to drive innovation.
  • The rate at which loss-making companies are taxed within the merged scheme will be reduced from 25% to 19%.
  • The intensity threshold in the R&D intensives scheme will also be reduced from 40% to 30% for accounting periods that start on or after 1 April 2024, allowing around 5,000 extra SMEs to qualify for an enhanced rate of relief. A one year grace period will also be introduced, providing certainty for companies who dip under the 30% threshold that they will continue to receive relief for one year. Taken together, these changes will provide £280 million of additional relief per year by 2028-29 to help drive innovation in the UK.
  • The Government will introduce more stringent payment time requirements for firms bidding for large government contracts. From April 2024, firms bidding for government contracts over £5 million will have to demonstrate they pay their own invoices within an average of 55 days, tightening to 45 days in April 2025, and to 30 days in the coming years.
  • The Government is expanding the Made Smarter Adoption, programme helping more manufacturing SMEs use advanced digital technologies.
  • The Government is also setting up a taskforce to rapidly explore how best to support SMEs to adopt digital technology, committing to delivery of the Help to Grow: Management programme beyond 2024-25; and offering additional support to SMEs to access global markets through UK Export Finance.
  • The Government will invest £25 million in scientific infrastructure through Public Sector Research Establishments.
  • The Government will be investing a further £500 million in compute for AI over the next two financial years.
  • The Government aims to invest £250 million in new fellowships for world-class mid-career researchers. To maximise flexibility and test new funding models, it is exploring funding this through an endowment.
  • The Government is creating a £150 million fund to support Investment Zones and Freeports across the UK to secure business investment opportunities. The fund will be available over five years.
  • The window to claim Freeport tax reliefs will be extended from five to ten years, until September 2031 in English Freeports, conditional on agreement of delivery plans with each Freeport.
  • The Investment Zones programme in England will be extended from five to ten years. Investment Zones will be provided with a £160 million envelope from 2024-25 to 2033-34 which can be used flexibly between spending and tax incentives, subject to ongoing co-design of proposals and agreement of delivery plans.