The pharmaceutical industry has welcomed plans in the Budget to consider changes that could make the tax system more favourable to research and innovation.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry said the proposal could have a “significant impact” on investment in the sector.

The Budget says the government will “consider the evidence” for changes to the way the tax system encourages innovative activity.

It will also assess the relative attractiveness of the system to global firms considering where to locate research facilities.

Balance of taxation

The report states: “Working with representatives across the business community, the government will examine the balance of taxation of innovative activity, including intellectual property.”

The association expects an assessment to be made before the pre-Budget report in November.

Association director-general Richard Barker said: “We welcome government’s resolve to create winning strategies for key industrial sectors, with life sciences being one of these. The ABPI will play a full part in the consultation announced today.”

Dr Barker said the commitment was an achievement for the Office for Life Sciences, a collaboration between the Departments of Health, Innovation, Universities and Skills, Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Treasury.

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