Yesterday the Chancellor presented his Budget to Parliament. Commitments on innovation, tech, and digital infrastructure were promised, however there is concern that there was no acknowledgement of the importance of the creative industries in growing the country’s economy - despite recent reports.
John Kampfner, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, said:
“With the creative industries already contributing £87bn to the economy, the government has missed an important opportunity to invest in the UK’s fastest growing sector at a critical time for the country.
“Failure to back our world-leading creative enterprises and entrepreneurs will be to the detriment of a sector that creates jobs at four times the rate of the wider UK workforce. A lack of commitment to the creative industries will mean that this job creation in our towns and cities across the land will be damaged.
“All this comes at a time of lacklustre growth forecasts and the apportioning of a further £3bn to deal with faltering Brexit negotiations.
“As a highly innovative sector, working increasingly closely with tech, the creative industries welcome new funding for innovation and improved digital infrastructure. But the lack of ambition behind government’s commitments to the creative industries sector deal and the Cultural Development Fund risks undermining the growth and prosperity all are trying to achieve.”
The Chancellor’s commitments include:
- Maintaining the current VAT threshold for small businesses and freelancers
- Investment in infrastructure and local growth (Only £2m has been committed to the new Cultural Development Fund - less than expected)
- Reducing the burden of business rates to support businesses
- A consultation on extending the scope of tax relief currently available to the self-employed for self-funded work-related training costs.
- A commitment to set aside an additional £3bn to prepare for Brexit.