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Tech can make Britain Great again

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The UK's technology industry can pull the country out of its debt hole and make up for the decline in manufacturing.

So reckons Micro Focus, which is launching a manifesto called Making BrITain Great Again. The group is promoting five policy moves backed by its panel of three parliamentarians - Tory Lord Young of Graffam, Labour's Lord Harris of Haringey and for the LibDems Lord Razzall of Mortlake.

The group notes the long-term decline of UK manufacturing and the recent collapse of financial services shows the need for the UK to have some basis for sustainable growth in the future. The group calls for all political parties to embrace the same five point strategy as follows.

Firstly the creation of 250,000 technology jobs over the next eight to ten years. Secondly the harnessing of international entrepreneurs to mentor UK start-ups.

Thirdly the group wants the Treasury to change tax incentives for businesses and individuals to encourage investment in technology firms, and fourthly it calls for specific fiscal incentives for UK tech firms to accelerate R&D spending. Finally, the group calls for action to encourage international tech firms to invest in the UK.

To support new jobs, the group calls for improved and extending IT courses at universities and business schools.

Panellist Richard Holway, chairman of TechMarketView LLP, said: "Britain has some very good IP-rich technology companies, but the opportunity exists to have many more in the years to come.

"Politics, academia and business leaders should now embrace these recommendations as a roadmap for the growth and regeneration of the technology industry that Britain deserves."

The group aims to refine the manifesto over the next few months and would welcome your comments. We wish them well, but doubt their ability to get their targets adopted by either of the main political parties.

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