20 March 2013 -- The BioIndustry Association believes that the measures outlined in today's Budget announcements by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, continue to ensure the UK remains an attractive global location for bioscience. These include:
• Lowering corporation tax to 20 per cent from 2015
• Raising the rate of the above-the-line research and development tax credit to 10 per cent
• Abolishing stamp duty on shares traded on AIM
• Extending the capital gains tax relief for the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme
• Creating an Employment Allowance to take the first £2000 off the employer National Insurance bill of every company
Steve Bates, BIA Chief Executive Officer, said:
"The BIA welcomes a number of measures announced in the Budget today that demonstrate the government's commitment to innovative bioscience companies. Raising the rate of the above-the-line R&D tax credit to 10 per cent and abolishing stamp duty on AIM-traded shares will be particularly welcomed.
"We agree with the Chancellor when he says 'research and development is absolutely central to Britain's economic future'. We are glad to see his continued commitment to life sciences as a key sector to deliver growth. Today's measures when combined with a well-funded science base in the UK and the strong fiscal support from government for bioscience through initiatives such as R&D tax credits, the Patent Box and the Biomedical Catalyst - all of which were fought for by the BIA - create a supportive environment for this sector.
"However, the BIA believes the Chancellor can do more to deliver a truly aspirational nation. He has given a tax break to high-net worth individuals to invest in innovative companies; now he should consider ways to unlock the patriotic potential of the rest of the UK population to back these high growth enterprises.
"Our research has shown that the British public would like the chance to invest in the innovative companies that will deliver future jobs and economic growth in the UK. The BIA believes the government should seize the opportunity to introduce Citizens' Innovation Funds to enable them to do so."
Michael Hunt, Chief Executive of AIM listed stem cell company ReNeuron, added:
"Abolishing stamp duty on AIM shares from 2014 is a welcome move. It should increase trade on the market which will encourage more investors to back innovative bioscience companies."
For further information, please contact Robert Winder, Head of Communications, email@example.com, 020 7630 2191; mobile 07825 942 934.
Citizens' Innovation Funds
The introduction of Citizens' Innovation Funds (CIFs) which are a tax advantaged investment scheme would unleash the patriotic potential of the general public by offering an opportunity to invest in innovative UK companies. The CIF concept is based on the Fonds Communs de Placements dans l'Innovation (FCPI), a hugely successful French scheme which has raised over €6 billion since 1997 and invested in more than 1,000 innovative companies. Estimates suggest that £300 million of investment could be unlocked a year from the scheme creating over 1500 new jobs in the knowledge economy.
The BIA's report on Citizens Innovation Funds is available from the BIA website: http://bit.ly/biacifreport2
Our YouGov survey shows that nearly nine out of 10 UK adults who expressed a preference agree that the general public should be provided with the opportunity to invest modest sums of money, if they wish to, into funds that will be targeted towards innovative companies. The figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2214 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21-23 November 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18 +). The survey results are available from YouGov: http://y-g.co/UhmFGo
Founded over 20 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative enterprises involved in UK bioscience. Members include emerging and more established bioscience companies; pharmaceutical companies; academic, research and philanthropic organisations; and service providers to the bioscience sector. The BIA represents the interests of its members to a broad section of stakeholders, from government and regulators to patient groups and the media. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives. For further information, please go to www.bioindustry.org