BT calls for permanent tax incentives

Thu, 16/11/2023 - 17:22
Philip Jansen

BT’s CEO Philip Jansen is calling for tax incentives that encourage investment in fibre to be made permanent, ahead of the Autumn Statement.

Jansen details how past innovations in the tax system have underpinned the company’s investment case thus far.

He said: “The introduction of a tax ‘super deduction’ for infrastructure investors from April 2021 allowed us to increase and accelerate our fibre rollout targets – from 20m to 25m homes. 

This super deduction came to an end in March 2023, but was replaced by a new policy of full expensing. Jensen adds: “It allowed us to accelerate our capital investment by some £300m per year, to stick to the 25m target.”

This is also set to expire in two and a half years, which Jensen believes would damage the UK investment environment and slow the UK build at a critical point.

He concludes: “The real game-changer would be to put these tax incentives on a permanent basis.  That would give businesses like BT Group genuine long-term certainty to plan and shift the investment environment in Britain from good to great.”

Jansen also reveals that it is unlikely that BT will see returns from its fibre build for at least a decade