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HOW THE AUTUMN STATEMENT 2022 WILL IMPACT TECH ACROSS THE UK

A rundown on the policies to be implemented and how tech businesses will be impacted

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The recent budget in the form of the Autumn statement 2022, announced by the UK’s new chancellor, Jeremy Hunt presents a range of measures that would affect the technology sector. While the onus is on big tech companies, which may expect to be more heavily taxed, after the reforms are in place, smaller entities may also experience a hit as other aspects of the budget are brought to light. 

The Autumn Statement 2022 detailed that the corporation tax will go up to 25% from April 2023 onwards, while that for smaller businesses will be maintained at 19%. Coupled with changes across the board, such as the increase in minimum wage and the steady surge in energy prices, technology, like any other sector, is at a crossroads of a multitude of challenges. The operational implications of these price hikes may result in tech companies charging comparatively higher prices for their services, as the costs of running businesses go up. 

In light of this turn of events, Gary Rayner, Director of AnyIT, a Suffolk-based IT support company, thinks the recent increase in the cost of living and the National Living Wage are performing a pincer movement on staff wages.  

“Companies across the UK will need to make meaningful changes to their remuneration packages to both maintain their longstanding staff and to make sure recruitment of new highly skilled staff remains a mutually rewarding process for both parties involved.” 

– Gary Rayner, Director, AnyIT

Gary also detailed how AnyIT had taken recent measures for staff retention, given the anticipated minimum wage hikes. 

“In the last six months, we have vastly improved our packages to aim for staff retention and recruitment. We are now offering critical illness and death in service packages, paid sick leave to help our staff get back on their feet as quickly as possible and gym memberships at a local health club, to help our team be on top of their physical and mental health. All these changes allow us to perform as a company in a way our customers expect and in a way that is needed to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.” 

– Gary Rayner, Director, AnyIT

Moreover, it comes as no surprise that the recent budget also validates the surge in energy prices, that has a direct impact on the day-to-day running of any business, and the IT sector is no exception, where it is also dealing with an additional hike in Software Licensing and Data Storage prices. Due to these circumstances, tech companies have taken a call to increase their product and service charges, where services like IT Support, Back-ups, and Monitoring Software are said to be the most affected by the price hikes, whereas Licensing, Broadband, and Phone Systems services will remain largely unaffected. Customers should take note that the price increase will be no higher than 17.5% of the current service rates, however, most of these price hikes fall between 10%-14% of their current rates. 

While the chancellor’s hopes to put the UK on the map as a world leader in science and technology are ambitious, tech businesses must withstand most of the budget terms, translating them to higher prices for their offerings. While this change may not be fully welcomed by customers and investors alike, it is necessary to ensure a smooth flow of business in the current economy, where the government has expressed hopes to launch Britain as the world’s next Silicon Valley, which is very telling of its projections for the technology sector.  

The growth projections, however, are only possible to achieve if all stakeholders, including suppliers, customers, employees, and investors work in tandem to ensure that the IT sector performs unflinchingly, despite a bleak current economic outlook. 

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