Commenting on today’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review, Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) Director of Policy Matthew Farrow said:
"Today’s Budget saw limited new announcements on infrastructure, which much of the welcome funding for city transport schemes and the Levelling Up Fund grants being money that had previously been announced. No doubt the Chancellor had other things on his mind with the cost of living crisis and NHS spending pressures.
"One thing that didn’t seem to be much on his mind was COP26. Although there were some useful small scale measures such business rates relief for green property improvements, there was also some distinctly mixed messaging with the [airport passenger duty] APD cut and fuel duty measure. The Chancellor missed a trick here – a long term funding commitment for the rail electrification that will be needed to hit rail decarbonisation targets would have shown commitment to the hard yards of delivering Net Zero.
"For the consultancy sector specifically, the extended scope for R&D tax credits may be useful as the industry continues its digital transformation, and the continued commitment to Project Speed was good to see – modern digitally enabled consultancy holds the key to unlocking infrastructure delivery and performance."