Sir James Dyson says Rishi Sunak ‘full of hot air’ on science
Sir James Dyson launched a scathing attack on Rishi Sunak for overseeing Britain’s “scandalous neglect” of the science and technology sectors.
Billionaire Sir James says the prime minister’s pledge to make the UK a “science and technology superpower” is nothing more than a political slogan.
In a letter to The Times, he warns “woeful” government policies are deterring multibillion-pound companies like Dyson from investing in the UK in favour of countries that encourage growth and innovation rather than deter them.
He also claims Sunak has refused to meet him and other “entrepreneurial, technology-focused employers and investors”.
Sunak pledged to put science and technology at the heart of the government’s agenda, setting out a strategy in March to develop high-tech industries backed by £370 million of investment.
He also created a separate Department for Science, Innovation and Technology to champion the sector in Whitehall.
Dyson, whose company employs 3,500 people in the UK, is the latest boss of a large technology company to criticise government policies in recent days.
He writes: “Ministers talk hubristically of Britain becoming a ‘science and technology superpower’ but their woeful policies diminish this to a mere political slogan.
“In the UK, Dyson now faces rocketing corporation tax (wiping out any tax credits for research and development) ... and a crippling shortage of qualified engineers.”
Earlier this year, Sir James warned Sunak that growth should not be seen as a “dirty word”, accusing the Government of a “short-sighted” approach to business.
A Government spokesman said: “The UK is open for business as an innovation nation.
“We boast the biggest tech sector in Europe, reaching a combined market value of £1trillion in 2022, we have the lowest corporation tax rate in the G7 and we have world-leading strengths in science and R&D.”