Spend now, tax later

March 4, 2021

CHEAD responds to the Chancellor’s March 2021 Budget.

Blog piece provided by Sandra Booth, CHEAD Director of Policy.

The budget provided a welcome confirmation of the Government’s commitment to the UK’s ambitions for an innovation led recovery which will be supported by the review of R&D tax relief and super deductions to encourage investment into research infrastructure alongside much-needed visa reforms to attract the world’s best academic talent.

We welcome the further emergency measures announced for cultural recovery and the increased recognition of the creative industries in the Chancellor’s statement. However, it is important that as we recover we do so in a way that does not leave individual artists behind. It was reassuring to see employment protection schemes extended to September and the inclusion of 600,000 ‘newly’-self-employed individuals. 

The renewed commitment to introducing more flexibility and expanding degree apprenticeship opportunities was also pleasing to see. CHEAD members look forward to developing creative collaborative projects with clusters of creative SME’s and cultural organisations with knowledge exchange, co-production and skills development at their heart.

Also, great to see that the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme has been extended for six months. This will be key to enabling the UK’s screen production industry to bounce back.

We would’ve liked to have seen more details on the Levelling-up fund and the central role universities and cultural recovery partnerships will play in their localities. The government could go further in utilising the existing cutural ecologies, civic infrastructure and the breadth of research our Universities bring to this agenda.

And finally, whilst we know corporation tax is on the rise to 25% from 2023 to balance out our public finances expenditure, Universities would feel more confident to support a recovery from this crisis if there had been anything heard about a secure funding settlement.

Budget summary available here.

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