The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, laid out his plans in a speech last week to inject growth into the ailing British economy. He stated his optimism for the economy’s future, noting that the Golden Triangle – London, Cambridge and Oxford – has the largest number of tech businesses in the world outside San Francisco and New York.
Mr Hunt then acknowledged that the UK has the largest life science sector in Europe. He continued his praise for the sector by declaring that the UK only lags behind the US and China in terms of high-quality life science papers published.
Innovation was the ‘golden thread’ which was woven into all of Britain’s greatest industries, the Chancellor claimed. Amongst the world’s largest economies, the Global Innovation Index has ranked the UK fourth globally, while innovation industries now account for around a quarter of our output. Astonishingly, they account for virtually all of the UK’s productivity growth since 1997.
After bombarding the Bloomberg audience with the aforementioned positive statistics, he implored them to either invest or start an innovation or tech-based business in the UK. Mr Hunt stated that he wanted the world’s ‘life science innovators’ to come to the UK to fulfil their ambitions.
He assured the audience that their investments would be well supported, pointing to the Government’s protection of the £20 billion research budget – the largest it has been in history.
Mr Hunt stressed the need to nurture SMEs, as every multinational like Apple or Microsoft began as a small business, and therefore they must be put at the heart of economic plans if the UK is to cultivate Europe’s Silicon Valley, for example.
Despite tax rises during his tenure as Chancellor, Mr Hunt signaled that, in the long-term, taxes needed to be lowered, but emphasised that lower spending was the route to achieving this.