Wednesday 08 March 2023

*UKHotViewsExtra* Government's digital delays cause material harm

MTDThe UK Government has recently announced that the deadline for the full implementation of HMRC’s “Making Tax Digital” (MTD) reforms is to be pushed back by at least a further two years. The latest delay in fully implementing the MTD initiative highlights yet another setback for a national digital programme. Only yesterday I wrote about a similar government technology initiative that has stalled, with the news that the timeline for the UK’s Pension Dashboard project has been pushed back again.

Whilst not seeking to underplay the complexity and challenges surrounding major programmes of this type, or the impact of COVID, the UK government’s track record on digital modernisation is fairly woeful. For some stakeholders, the latest delay to MTD is more than just disappointing. With international trade and the competitiveness of the UK severely hampered by the decision to leave the European Union, it is vital that our economy is allowed to embrace opportunities around digital innovation and to operate as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.

Delays of this kind are not only disappointing and frustrating for those that have worked hard to innovate in support of government initiatives, they can also cause material harm. For those companies that have invested in product development and prepared growth strategies based on published government timelines, having plans thrown into disarray can be extremely problematic. For fledgling businesses in particular, such difficulties are currently being further exacerbated by the challenging macro economic climate and funding constraints.

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Posted by Jon C Davies at '06:00'

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