UKIP reveals few tech policies but immigration and energy pledges would impact IT industry
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has published its manifesto for the 2015 General Election, detailing very few specific technology policies, but revealing how the party’s immigration and energy policies might impact the industry as a whole.
Should UKIP emerge victorious on May 7, it would withdraw from the EU, close the loopholes that allow multi-national technology companies to avoid corporate tax in the UK and implement an “Australian-style” points system for skilled workers, limited to 50,000 migrants per year.
Such a policy could potentially limit the potential pool of talent for IT companies, but UKIP also promised it would increase the number of vocational courses for those at school and would abolish tuition fees for some technical degrees.
Who are you backing in the 2015 General Election?
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- UKIP (17%)
- SNP (10%)
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“UK students taking approved degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM), mainly at universities funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, will not have to repay their tuition fees,” reads the document. This is on condition that they work in their discipline and pay tax in the UK for at least five years, after they complete their degrees.”
UKIP would abandon many climate change policies employed by previous governments, including the 2008 Climate Change Act, and withdraw from the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme. Only renewable energy the party deems to be “competitively” priced would be pursued with more investment in fossil fuels, potentially changing the way data centres are powered.
The manifesto also promises funding and support for SMBs and make it easier for smaller companies to get government contracts.
Not much was mentioned about the role of state surveillance other than that a UKIP government would give the authorities as much support as they need to combat terrorism, but police would be forced to delete the biometric data of UK citizens not convicted of a crime but not a foreign person who is arrested but not charged. “Atos-style” work capability assessments would be abandoned in favour of GP tests.
There was no commitment made on broadband and mobile coverage, but UKIP did say it would review the licence fee with a view to reducing it. This could have an impact on rollout as the current government is “top-slicing” the licence fee to help fund broadband coverage.
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