Monday March 9 2020

What support should the UK Government offer the tech sector in this budget?

In the lead-up to the 2020 Spring Budget, tech entrepreneur Yiannis Faf explains what the tech community wants to see introduced...

Yiannis Faf

YIANNIS FAF | Cofounder of WhatWeWant

 What support should the UK Government offer the tech sector in this budget?

In autumn of last year, then Chancellor Sajid Javid cancelled the Government’s budget due to the upcoming election. The fiscal statement was subsequently rescheduled for 2020, meaning the Government had failed to explain its financial plans to parliament for the entire year — the first time this has happened in recent memory.

The next budget, billed for the 11th of March, therefore takes on additional importance. It will also be the first of this decade and of Boris Johnson’s premiership, meaning it could set the tone for years to come.

Those of us in tech will be watching on with keen interest; the sector may be particularly susceptible to the effects of Brexit, so the stakes are high. The question arises naturally, then: what can we expect from the budget for tech? And what can the government do to support us?

Hopefully, some clarity around immigration

The skills gap in tech is currently severe, and with Brexit threatening to create additional resistance for the flow of talent, many firms have concerns it may get worse. After all, the lifeblood of all business is talented people at work.

As such, many are hoping that the Government will provide greater clarity around their plan for immigration. Of course, they have already outlined some plans; some details about how the points-based system will work have been released, as have talk about ‘approved companies’ and ‘skills-levels’. Naturally, this stirred some up some controversy. After all, it is unlikely that any entrepreneur entering the UK will have had the opportunity to register their startup with the government prior to submitting their application. 

So, the tech sector will be keen to receive greater clarity regarding the immigration plan. Failure to grant entrepreneurs access to the UK’s tech industry will inevitably result in a decline in sector growth.

Entrepreneurs’ relief to be scrapped

Entrepreneurs’ relief offers a reduction in capital gains tax from 20% to 10% on the first £10 million made, and so many tech startups might have concerns that it being discontinued will make securing new investment more difficult.

Abolishing this relief could result in a rapid decline in startups across the UK. So, the industry will be keen to understand exactly what the future holds for the relief. If the Chancellor does decide to end it, it will be hoped that suitable incentives are introduced to replace it, to ensure that the Government continues to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of the UK. 

More spending on digital infrastructure

The tech sector would greatly benefit from investment in improving the country’s digital connectivity. Much of this will be delivered under the National Infrastructure Strategy, including the rollout of 4G to 95% of the UK as part of an agreement made with EE, Three, and others.

The Government is also likely to recommit to 5G spending, which will allow tech to implement the Internet-of-Things with greater ease due to reduced latency. Further, due to the plan to connect the country from the ‘outside in’, those in rural areas and those who work remote will feel closer than ever before, helping connect firms to talent, and encourage budding tech entrepreneurs outside of the capital to build their own companies.

Greater focus on cybersecurity

Here’s hoping that the Government takes steps to invest more into protecting the digital landscape, too. Whilst they have promised £100 million to upgrade existing hardware and make design processes more resilient, it’s too soon to say whether this will be sufficient.

Cybersecurity has grown massively over the past few years, with almost 50,000 people now working in it. Revenues in the sector have also grown by a huge 46% since 2016, so the budget will hopefully reflect this by offering more detail about Boris Johnson’s vision for it.


There has been some progress in the teaching of technical subjects over the past few years. More children than ever before are learning to code, and now the Government plans to introduce T-Levels to help further encourage STEM-focused education. The National Retraining Scheme may also help create more highly-skilled workers for the sector, as well as helping older people become economically active in the digital economy. Here’s hoping the Government reflects the severity of the skills gap in its plan for tech education.

Looking forward, it’s clear that the Government broadly has some strong ideas for the tech sector, despite how long overdue leadership has been. However, with the Brexit transition process still underway, and the future of immigration yet to be entirely clarified, many firms will still have concerns for the future. So, it is vital that a clear plan of action is outlined, to reassure the tech sector that it will continue to receive adequate support, and consequently grow in the years to come.  

Yiannis Faf is co-founder of the crowdfunding app, WhatWeWant. The app, which Yiannis created alongside his family, allows users to upload what they want for an upcoming event for themselves, or someone else. Users can contribute to what their friends and family want as well as notifying them to contribute to whatever you have uploaded. Once enough has been raised, users simply use the money to buy their dream gift, cutting out a lot of stress, wasted money and unwanted gifts.

"Looking forward, its clear that the Government broadly has some strong ideas for the tech sector, despite how long overdue leadership has been."
Yiannis Faf, co-founder, WhatWeWant


Senior Business Development Manager - Technology & IP

Central London

A dynamic and forward thinking international law firm have an exciting role at senior management level within their business development team.

Interim Management-Technology Recruitment

City of London

My client is a leading global search firm with an established interim management practice.

Interim Management-Senior Technology/Data Recruitment

City of London

My client is a leading global search firm enjoying impressive growth with an established interim management practice.

Researcher/Resourcer Executive Search Technology/PE/VC clients

Central London

My client is a division of a highly respected Executive Search firm focussing on the PE/VC marketplace.

PE Technology Executive search Director

Central London

My client is a division of a highly regarded global Tier 1 search firm specialising in the Private equity backed market place.

Accounts Payable Lead Technology

City of London

My client is one of the fastest growing VC-backed technology companies in Europe and is now changing the industry it specialises in with its leading technology.

Senior Technology Underwriter


The role This insurer has been providing insurance solutions to technology clients since 1994 and we have grown a substantial book of business to date.

Recruitment Team Leader for a leading Technology Brand!

South East London

Could you be our next ERP Recruitment Team Lead? You will; Manage and mentor your own recruitment team, train, develop and nurture new members.

IT Delivery Manager

City Of London

My financial services client is seeking a Technical Commercial Delivery Manager to join the Technology Department and join the Real Time Gross Settlements Programme, reporting both Technology and operationally into the Programme.

Lecturer in Creative Media Production and Technology (0.8)

South West London

Lecturer in Creative Media Production and Technology - Film Making & Visual Effects (0.

Talent Acquisition Manager - IT & Technology


We have a career-enhancing opportunity within a Global Multinational with close to 10,000 employees worldwide, and revenues in excess of $10 Billion p/year.

Assistant Tax Manager - Media & Technology - Top 10 firm


Do you want to work with interesting media and technology clients?Craving a role with a real mix of client facing advisory work?Do you want the autonomy of working from home? I am recruiting a great front end taxation role working closely with two excellent dynamic tax Partners on clients ranging from advertising, film makers, and music production to fin tech businesses.

International B2B Marketing Manager Technology/Product

Central London

International B2B Marketing Manager (Technology/Product) Minimum 3 months: £55000 - £75000 Client will consider candidates with up to 1 months noticeClosing date: Tuesday 13th August @ 9am  Reed Marketing & Creative is currently partnering with a globally recognised SaaS company who are recruiting an interim Senior Ma.

Sales Development Representative - Technology - Central London

City Of London

Sales Development Represenatative Technology Central London The role and companyAs a Sales Executive you will be required to generate opportunities for the field sales team.

Technology Sales - Cyber Security Sales

City of London

Technology Sales - Global Leading Cyber Security Firm - Sales Development Representative This is an exciting time within the cyber-security industry, with the ever-growing nature of cyber-attacks and the demand for safe and secure data greater than ever, the importance of this channel has never been bigger.

Principle Technology Partner - Data Exploitation


This is an opportunity for a skilled individual to enhance their current skillset and knowledge working in a dynamic environment.

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Technology Recruitment

Central London

Are you looking to work at the very top of the Information Technology recruitment industry? Would you work for a company that is winning awards for its training and development programme? Does the idea of working on a high octane sales floor excite you?Would you like to work with international clients.


BEP Systems appoints new COO

BEP Systems, the mortgage and savings origination software house, is pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Bowering as Chief Operating Officer. Steve is the former head of IT and then COO of Capita Mortgage Services, supporting over 22 clients with over 5.

Discover the latest Industry News & Opinions on Entirely

We transform your bright ideas into brilliant digital products.