Osborne Clarke's experts call for UK Budget to support smart cities initiatives

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The Government should take a non-partisan view of this year's Budget on smart cities - according to experts from international legal practice Osborne Clarke.

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At international legal practice Osborne Clarke, we believe that smart cities are going to be the powerhouses of our future economic success. We need this year’s Government Budget to do three main things to support their development in the UK.

The firm's International CEO, Simon Beswick, says:
"Smart cities are vital for the UK's economic future. The Government needs to commit to its role in building and financing smarter cities, supporting innovation and encouraging the best talent to work in the UK."

Chris Wade, an infrastructure expert at Osborne Clarke says:
"Firstly, we need to provide serious and meaningful support for funding at a government/local government level. There was very little mention of smart cities in the autumn statement and only a few references to creating a northern economic powerhouse. The Government needs a financial and contractual model that allows it and the private sector to invest into major infrastructure projects and have an exit strategy for its investment."

Erika Jupe, a tax expert at Osborne Clarke says:
"Next, we need to provide further tax relief for R&D projects to SMEs to encourage the development of home-grown, world-beating technologies to support smart cities. As a slow death for the patent box looks likely, the Government needs to consider how to continue to incentivise businesses to invest in R&D in the UK and how to make EIS schemes more user friendly to encourage angel investment in smart cities technologies."

Karen Cooper, an employee benefits expert at Osborne Clarke says:
"Finally, we need to attract and retain the best talent in the UK for our broader economic benefit. The Government needs to maintain and ideally enhance entrepreneurs' relief and tax-advantaged employee share plans such as enterprise management incentives."

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About Osborne Clarke:
Osborne Clarke has 650 lawyers in 19 international offices* providing clients with consistently high standards of service and commercial cross-border legal advice tailored to their industry. Our discrete national firms combine the very best of OC with an understanding of the local business environment and in-depth legal expertise in each jurisdiction.

Our offices: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brescia, Bristol, Brussels, Cologne, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Padua, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Thames Valley.

http://www.osborneclarke.com

*The use of the name "Osborne Clarke" and words or phrases such as "international legal organisation", "firm", "law firm" or "practice" used in relation to Osborne Clarke Verein or its member entities are for convenience only and do not imply that the Verein or all or any of the member entities are in partnership together or accept responsibility for each other's acts or omissions.
*Osborne Clarke has a strategic alliance with John Koh & Co.

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Becky Davy
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