United Kingdom Government White Papers
Innovation Britain: A Plan to Drive Productivity, Growth, and Jobs
Ministerial Foreword by the Secretary of State
Innovation and productivity are perhaps the single most important area in which Britain can increase her potential as we move forward further into the 21st century. We are a top rate economy with immense potential to do even more, but in order to do more, we must prioritise innovation and productivity. Many people and businesses in our country are being held back with infrastructure unable to keep up with the demands of the booming technological revolution in Europe that has produced some of the most unimaginably complex and exciting new technologies we have seen. Britain and her people can take part in this boom in growth. It does, however, mean that we take measures to help our country become the innovation nation that Britain can be.
That rise of innovation comes with our vision for a new, dynamic, aspiration nation that will be the United Kingdom. I have had the pleasure of working with many in the community, including think tanks, the private sector, and the Office of National Statistics to come up with this plan for the Government's innovation.
The Rt Hon Jo Johnson MP
Secretary of State for Tertiary Education, Innovation and Skills
- The Government will pursue up to £200 billion in infrastructure investment in further improvements to the National Broadband Network, rail infrastructure, and capital available to businesses in the United Kingdom. At least £20 billion will go into the United Kingdom Investment Infrastructure Bank (UKIIB). This bank will look to partner with private sector like private pension funds and other sources as well as regional government. The Government will also consult the community for maintenance on existing infrastructure and continue to consult regions for areas in which the Government can partner with these areas for projects.
- The Secretary of State has confirmed that the area between Oxford and Cambridge will receive £15 billion to transform the area between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge into Britain's technological hub. This investment will be delivered in March of next year. The Government will develop further upgrades to the NBN in that area as well as transportation links, which will invigorate the area between the two centres of innovation. The Government will look to work with planning authorities in the new West Midlands Parliament to open up the area along that transportation and internet upgrade area to allow for British tech startup companies to be encouraged to settle in the area. The Government will also put more capital into the British Business Bank, an extra £1.2 billion to free up more venture capital to invest in these small and medium tech startups. The Government will continue to support these businesses and encourage them to mature and scale naturally, rather than become snapped up by international corporations.
- These changes will encourage economic and job growth in Britain as more jobs become created by the economic activity in the West Midlands, an area which as historically received up to 8% less spending by UK Governments since 1979. Oxford and Cambridge will drive innovation, and the increased surge of innovation will raise productivity in the United Kingdom by 10% in this Parliament. '
- Birmingham will be joined with a spur link from HS2 to the Oxford-Cambridge link. This will connect the area more directly to other parts of the United Kingdom quickly, including Manchester and London.
- The Government will increase the money available for apprenticeships to £50 billion, linking with vocational tertiary education in each region of the United Kingdom to provide further opportunities to partner with education and the private sector to provide job experience before students are sent into the workforce. The current system of apprenticeships only account for persons who forego the tertiary education route, and does not provide adequate support for those students in technical colleges and other vocational tertiary education. It is absolutely crucial that all education paths have equal opportunity to gain work experience in valuable ways before being put full time into the labour market.
- New Start Industrial Retraining Programme (NSRP) will be created to give workers who are found suddenly without employment but lack skills for the new economy a place where they can quickly, with the first institute being rolled out in Cardiff and Leeds and further being rolled out in communities across the United Kingdom.
- The changes sought in the preceding points will recapture lost productivity from British workers who cannot work at a high capacity new technologies. The retraining would mean that British workers are able to increase their own productivity by 15%, eliminating upwards of half a day of work on goods or services that would take normally 5 days to produce.
- The extent of planning made by the Social Democratic Government of 1997-2015, and in fact previous Governments from 1945-2015, has produced an economy that is 35% reliant on the City of London and has made built in structural inefficiencies. This has manifested itself in inefficient infrastructure, lack of planning for housing, and a large complicit nature in politics to keep the status quo.
- In response to point #8, the Government will change planning laws that will free-up spaces for housing, addressing the productivity issue that comes from the current housing crisis. This means that the Government will be committed to building 400,000 new homes across the United Kingdom, and an additional 110,000 homes in London by the end of this Parliament. This requires bold planning for brownfield sites, and opening up restrictions on the kind of housing that can be built in our cities and suburbs.
- Energy is an important issue and crucial part of innovation. The Secretary of State can confirm that he has worked with the Energy Secretary to produce plans for 4 new nuclear power plants, phasing out coal fired plants in Wales and England as well as further planning for wind and hydroelectric projects in the United Kingdom to secure cheaper, cleaner energy. Upgrades to the energy infrastructure to ensure that energy is more efficient to move across the country will be a top priority of the Government as further consultation from the energy sector will be made.
Devolution in Innovation
- The Government recognises that in 2017 there will be more challenges facing innovation in a more devolved United Kingdom, where there is more political control in the hands of regions to do more for the people of their areas than ever before, in one of the most devolved institutions of government in Europe. The Secretary of State has begun making plans to help with innovation across the whole of Britain and to help local areas deliver the change on which they will be seeing these benefits.
- The Secretary of State will meet with the Business and Skills ministers of the devolved institutions once a month in London to discuss plans on implementation of the innovation agenda. The per capita funding provided to the devolved institutions are intended to go to the infrastructure and educational opportunities that will drive the innovation locally, coupled with the UKIIB and NSRP. Economic regeneration cannot be isolated only to the south of England, London, and a small portion of the West Midlands. It must be delivered to the whole of the United Kingdom.
- In Scotland, the Scottish Parliament will be able to augment the plans set forward by the Government but they do not have the authority to change the plans made by the UK Government wholesale without consultation first. The Secretary of State and the Scottish Business Secretary have both stated that they will work together to deliver the Government's plans for more jobs as it as welcome boost to Scotland as well as the rest of the United Kingdom.
- In conjunction with the Wales Office, the Secretary of State has provided that further innovation in manufacturing in Wales will be brought forward into the 2015-2020 UK Parliament, including funds made available by the UK Government to assist Welsh steel and other high importance sectors to the economy of Wales in this innovation process. This includes the procurement of funding to be put forward into the procurement of better equipment and training of workers in Wales. The SDP Government in Wales has been contacted and have agreed to help in consultation to the UK Government to deliver on this important development.
- Ireland had made progress on similar reforms at the regional level, and are already equipped to handle the changes put forward by the Secretary of State, and welcomed their UK wide roll-out. This will put the Irish economy at the forefront of all four nations in the United Kingdom as they will have had a year head start on the whole process.
Connecting Britain's Broadband Future: The National Broadband Network and the Golden Triangle Tech Corridor
The National Broadband Network was a plan started by the previous Social Democrat government, and continued through the current Government. Completed in full in 2016, the National Broadband Network will be ready for roll-out in 2018 for houses across the United Kingdom. Similar to the BBC and the television licensing scheme, the National Broadband Network will be paid for by an annual licensing fee per household in the United Kingdom. This innovation for Britain will deliver a hi-tech future for our country and is one of the most exciting developments in modern Britain.
We will also be putting forward ideas on the Oxbridge Tech Corridor extending into London, creating a centre of innovation and skills between London, Cambridge, and Oxford, where Britain's best and brightest IT companies, tech startups, and capital can meet to create a massive jobs and growth future for Britain. The plan for this extraordinary opportunity is part of a wider strategy.
The Hon. Jo Johnson, MP
Secretary of State for Education
The Rt. Hon. Phillip Hammond, MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Hon. Karen Bradley, MP
Secretary of State for Business, Employment and Apprenticeships
- Create NBN internet speeds of 25 Mbit/s on average across the United Kingdom and 100 Mbit/s in urban centres, including the Golden Triangle, in its first year of use. This service will be provided at £15 a month by the National Broadband Network Crown Corporation.
- An additional license fee of £20 will be processed annually
- Encourage competition with existing wireless broadband to promote competition in wireless connection.
- The NBN will compete directly with telecommunications companies in providing services beyond the baseline, all can access base levels of 25 Mbit/s and 100 Mbit/s in urban centres. The NBN will create optimum VDSL connections in all new developments across the United Kingdom, upgrading all connections by 2025 including pre-existing DSL or phone line connections.
- Speeds over 100 Mbit/s, which guarantees by 2020 to be at nearly 1.0 Gbit/s, will be offered at an additional £30 a month.
- Rates will then increase upon review in line with inflation and market pricing.
- Revenue expected to be generated by NBN will be £7.02 billion at the base level, and up to.£18.9 billion potentially, making the NBN one of the most valuable Crown Corporations in British history.
- The NBN will use monies for maintenance and operational costs and profits will be used for further investments in internet access and development in relation to the National Broadband Network, as well as funding school programmes on computer science, including programming and coding.
- The Golden Triangle Tech Corridor will be tailored to promote tech startups and start-up culture in the United Kingdom, particularly when it comes to research, development, and innovation. Companies that headquarter in the tech corridor that participate in software and game development, research and development, social media, semiconductors, and manufacturing finished products will have significant access to capital and will receive help in connecting people, ideas, and capital by His Majesty's Government.
- The Government will be promoting the creation of support organisations, funding organisations in the private sector, and create apprenticeships in partner with the universities in the Golden Triangle and the private sector in the area.
- Road and rail infrastructure will also be upgraded in the area, which will allow in total for the creation of a potential 300,000 jobs in the area, 120,000 will be in the service economy around the areas of Oxford and Cambridge.
Building Britain's Energy Future: Industry and Energy in the 21st Century
It is imperative that, as an island nation, the United Kingdom stands ready to accept the reality that climate change is a real and present threat to Britain's physical status and to its economy. If we allow climate change to run rampant, our seaside towns will be swallowed, London will be submerged, and our economy will cease to function normally. That being said, the Government has come together on a sensible and smart energy policy, culminating with the Industry and Energy Act 2017.
What we have seen is an energy sector that has grown inefficient and unwilling to change in public hands. While we have built numerous nuclear energy facilities from 1980-2016, research and development into battery storage of hydroelectric, solar, and wind energy has stagnated. British Energy, under the direct management of the Government is not as competitive as the counterpart companies across Europe. Therefore, it has become the view of the government that we allow British Energy to be sold off in 2018 and be allowed to be a publicly listed company. That said, the Government does have a package of regulations and incentives ready for the private energy sector.
The Rt. Hon. Dr. Greg Clark, MP
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
- All new plants must be made to be carbon neutral, which includes nuclear, natural gas, oil, and coal fired power plants.
- The establishment of cogeneration plants will be promoted, which will provide 50% of all heat in the United Kingdom by 2030. This target allows companies to use waste hot water to generate heat for millions of homes in the UK.
- Encourage the creation of loans by the Government and other banks for fitting households and industries with energy saving technologies. The Government will also provide a rebate of up to 30% of all costs in switch to energy efficient technologies for households.
- OFGEM will be used to regulate the energy market and standards will be a joint implementation between OFGEM and the Environmental Agency.
- Energy cost will be capped at rising 1.2% above inflation with no ability to raise energy prices more than once a year.
- British Energy will be privatised and shares in the company will be publicly available in 2018 at market value of the company in the initial public offering.