Whilst the Chancellor didn’t mention the S/EIS directly in his speech, we’re delighted that the more detailed documentation, published by the Treasury, confirmed the SEIS extensions would go ahead as planned in April 2023. It was also reassuring to see the government reiterate its support for the EIS beyond the 2025 Sunset Clause:
“The government is committed to ensuring cutting-edge innovative firms have access to finance to invest and grow. As previously announced, the government is increasing the generosity and availability of the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and Company Share Option Plan. The government remains supportive of the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trusts and sees the value of extending them in the future. The government will also continue to champion institutional investment into innovation so that UK savers can benefit from the growth of high potential businesses.”
EISA will be working closely with the government to establish exactly when and how the EIS will be extended beyond the Sunset Clause but the reiteration of their support for the Scheme is very welcome.
It is also worth noting that, whilst it was obviously a very difficult Autumn Statement in many ways, the Chancellor specifically mentioned his background as an entrepreneur and his desire to “turn Britain into the world’s next Silicon Valley.” He emphasised that “we have a national genius for innovation” and he has made innovation (and the entrepreneurs that drive it) one of his top three priorities for growth, alongside energy security and investment in infrastructure.
Given the number of U-turns in recent weeks relating to the mini-budget it is significant, and indictive of the importance the government places on entrepreneurs, that the commitments around the SEIS and the EIS have remained.