Government needs to be clearer on Digital Economy regulation

BIS Select Committee report concludes that new digital framework regulations should be put in place

The Select Committee has advised the government to come up with a better regulation framework for the Digital Economy to ensure the UK remains competitive.

The report states these rules should make sure it's a level playing field for all innovators when they bring their ideas to the table and the government should be encouraging new uses of technologies.

"Digital platforms (the software or hardware of a site) could themselves become key players in the regulatory framework, required to ensure that users are complying with current regulations and that workers using the platforms have reasonable employment conditions and are not vulnerable to exploitation."

Other points in the report relate to how the government measures the digital economy, as digital technologies could relate to a lot of different things.

"The Government should explore ways of collecting real-time data and of applying standard terminology and coding of activity, in order to measure accurately the digital contribution to levels of UK productivity, and to reflect this in policy making," it said.

It added that the government must make sure the UK remains innovative and successful in everything it does related to the digital arena.

TechUK welcomed the Select Committee's report. Charlotte Holloway, Policy Director at techUK said: "The Committee is right to highlight that the forthcoming Digital Strategy from UK Government needs to be refocused in light of the vote to leave the European Union.

"The UK's huge potential in digital must be matched by clear prioritisation of the tech sector's needs in forward approaches to renegotiation. We must now pull out all the stops to make the UK the most attractive place in the world to locate and grow a tech company."

However, she highlighted her concerns regarding the changes to the apprenticeship levy, which would have a knock-on effect on how smaller companies will be able to grow when any business making over 3m a year will have to invest in apprenticeships.

"Tech companies have serious and ongoing concerns on how the implementation of the levy will support their sustained growth," Holoway finished.

"Scaling businesses made the difference between recession and recovery after 2008, and it's now more important than ever that policies such as the levy help rather than hinder our ability to boost the UK's digital workforce to 2020 and beyond."

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