Osborne Clarke urges UK Government: “Put smart cities at heart of 2015 Budget to boost our future economic prosperity”

At international legal practice Osborne Clarke, we believe that smart cities are going to be the powerhouses of our future economic success. We need this year’s Government Budget to do three main things to support their development in the UK.

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The firm’s International CEO, Simon Beswick, says: “Smart cities are vital for the UK’s economic future. The Government needs to commit to its role in building and financing smarter cities, supporting innovation and encouraging the best talent to work in the UK.”

Chris Wade, an infrastructure expert at Osborne Clarke says: “Firstly, we need to provide serious and meaningful support for funding at a government/local government level. There was very little mention of smart cities in the autumn statement and only a few references to creating a northern economic powerhouse. The Government needs a financial and contractual model that allows it and the private sector to invest into major infrastructure projects and have an exit strategy for its investment.”

Erika Jupe, a tax expert at Osborne Clarke says: “Next, we need to provide further tax relief for R&D projects to SMEs to encourage the development of home-grown, world-beating technologies to support smart cities. As a slow death for the patent box looks likely, the Government needs to consider how to continue to incentivise businesses to invest in R&D in the UK and how to make EIS schemes more user friendly to encourage angel investment in smart cities technologies.”

Karen Cooper, an employee benefits expert at Osborne Clarke says: “Finally, we need to attract and retain the best talent in the UK for our broader economic benefit. The Government needs to maintain and ideally enhance entrepreneurs’ relief and tax-advantaged employee share plans such as enterprise management incentives.”

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