The Prime Minister and the Chancellor chaired a roundtable with representatives from UK based pension funds, insurers and venture capital investors in Downing Street, looking at how to increase long term investment in science and tech firms. Sir Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Lord Grimstone, Minister for Investment, and George Freeman, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation also attended.
This meeting followed from their letter published in August challenging the sector to invest more in UK long term assets to back British success stories, and secure higher returns and better retirements for UK savers.
The Prime Minister began by thanking everyone for coming and talking about how investment of this type is important to the future of the UK’s economy, will help lengthen our lead in science and tech, and contribute the UK becoming a science superpower. He pointed to the potential benefits that such investments could bring to UK pension savers.
Building on this, Sir Patrick Vallance spoke about the UK’s ambitions in science and technology and the opportunities this will create for institutional investors and UK savers.
The Work and Pensions Secretary gave an update on the work DWP was taking forward to support this government priority, including consulting on further changes to the auto enrolment charge cap for defined contribution pension schemes.
The Chancellor set out the government’s commitment to this agenda, both in terms of capital investment and policy work, and invited the group to give views on how to move forward.
The group had an open and positive discussion about the barriers to and opportunities resulting from increased investment. They agreed that this was an exciting moment, and the Prime Minister emphasised that the government wanted to continue to work closely with industry to ensure we kept up momentum.