2021 UK Budget likely to drive investment in photonics

Rishi Sunak, MP 2021 budget contains a a number of measures likely to have broad impact on the photonics industry. The biggest of which may be the super-deduction.

  • Super-Deduction – effectively a 25% discount on capex for the next two years that should significantly reduce barriers to the wider deployment of laser based materials processing tools and machine vision for greater productivity across the wider manufacturing sector
    • “From 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets will benefit from a 130% first-year capital allowance. This upfront super-deduction will allow companies to cut their tax bill by up to 25p for every £1 they invest”
  • R&D tax credits. Ever popular with the UK photonics industry, Government are consulting on modifications particularly around changes to allowable expenses. Respond to consultation by 2 June
  • Visas and high skilled immigration. The budget announced further simplification of the UK’s new points based immigration system to enable more high skilled immigration including a fast track visa for those with a job offer from recognised scale-up company.
  • Loss carry back. For those business which have struggled through the covid-19 pandemic the loss carry back scheme has been extended from 1 to 3 years.

Along side this wide ranging support measures, The Chancellor also announce corporation tax will be raised to 25% from 19% from April 2023, but only for companies with profits >£250,000. For those making smaller profits the rate will be tapered down to 19%

Further information is in the budget red book and associated document

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