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Budget 2017: a missed opportunity for tech?

Wednesday 08 March 2017

Information Age comment on the Budget.

Today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer - Philip Hammond - detailed an extensive budget plan for the next fiscal year. Was technology at its heart?

One of the biggest themes of Hammond’s first Spring Budget surrounded boosting productivity. Technology should be at the heart of this.

However, the sums of investment proposed for 5G, full-fibre broadband and disruptive technologies were underwhelming. Indeed, the US Department of Transportation proposed a 10-year plan to invest $4 billion (£3.3 billion) in self-driving cars under President Obama.

Does this represent a missed opportunity to firmly put technology at the heart of Britain’s future success?

In terms of addressing the digital skills gap, this is not the case. It was a major focus highlighted by Hammond in his first Spring Budget.

During his speech at the House of Parliament this afternoon, he stressed that improving the quality of education and technical skills delivers more fairness and boosts productivity.

While championing the success the government has brought to the school system – through continued investment in free schools and record school attendance levels – he did acknowledge that technical education lacks significantly.

Internationally, the UK is near the bottom of the list when it comes to technical talent and is not competing with other global powers. Part of this budget seeks to reverse this.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2neZmik