Content Coms analysis: Autumn Statement 2016 – corporation tax is cut, but growth is forecast

The Chancellor’s 2016 Autumn Statement holds some promise for low carbon infrastructure, and tax cuts may bring sweeping UK investment. But, UK debt is still growing and Brexit continues to dominate proceedings. Content Coms’ very own ‘Mr Greentech’ Giles Crosse investigates…

Chancellor Philip Hammond began the Autumn Statement saying the UK economy has; “Confounded commentators with its strength and resilience.”

That may be, but Brexit’s real impacts are not even here yet. His stated task remains to prepare our economy as we exit the EU, a challenging remit given a higher degree of uncertainty around the figures than usual.

Of course, such uncertainty stems from Brexit, and its estimated hit to UK growth of -2.4%. UK debt is rising; we will have to borrow an extra £122 billion ($151 billion) over the next five years.

None of this is great news. But a corporation tax cut to 17% should delight homegrown firms, and in Content Coms’ neck of the woods, enterprise is set to flourish.

Autumn Statement 2016; the national low carbon headlines

National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF)

NPIF will provide for £23 billion of spending between 2017-18 and 2021-22; prioritising science and innovation. Will some of the pot reach low carbon disruptive firms?

Energy investment

Hammond predicts that more than £100 billion of private investment is expected in the UK’s energy sector in the next 15 years, providing new cleaner generating capacity and upgrading us to a smarter energy system.

This has to be good for low carbon, energy efficient firms, who make the tech to help the smart new energy system come of age.

Levy Control Framework

No real change here; we await more concrete announcements in 2017.

Emissions tax and transport outlook

In the entire Statement, energy is mentioned 7 times; energy efficiency has not one mention; nor has climate change, nor the Paris Agreement.

On transport, by 2012 Hammond has promised £150m to support low emission buses and taxis and £80m for electric car charging points. Another £450m is to be spent improving rail services.

Mr Hammond also announced that the carbon tax on emissions from power stations will remain at its current level,’ writes The Guardian. ‘But that’s the least he could have done, given that the government has just pledged to phase out all coal power by 2025.’

Autumn Statement 2016; local impacts

“The Autumn Statement hasn’t offered a panacea to low carbon or Brexit,” says Jo Watchman, Founder and Managing Director, Content Coms.

“But, locally, in the South West we will see £191 million of Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) support. I want  to see this leveraged towards growing further the green, low carbon sector that’s already thriving in this part of the world.

“Content Coms is based in the South West because we know the green economy here is flourishing. We’re perfectly placed to help firms benefiting from the £191 million get their message out there, via our strategic, specialist communications expertise.”

Joanna Watchman also believes the nationwide corporation tax cuts will impact in the South West, enabling local firms to free up much needed capital, into areas like R&D for tomorrow’s cutting edge technologies.


Content Coms is one of the UK’s leading B2B communications consultancies specialising in the energy, low carbon and technology sectors. If you’ve enjoyed our article, how about reading more of our energy news and analysis?




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