On Wednesday, the Education Secretary announced that twelve Institutes of Technology will be set up across the country to boost young people's skills and set them on a clear path to a high skilled, high wage career.  

On Thursday, HMRC refused to consider an application for venture capital advance assurance for a high tech overseas company wanting to set up a presence in the UK.  

The reason?  The company wanted to have comfort that it would be able to raise venture capital funding before it incurred the expense of setting up in the UK - but HMRC refused to consider the application before the company had actually incurred the expense.  A classic "Catch 22" situation.  

So, whilst the UK Government and its embassies around the world are enthusiastically canvassing high tech companies to bring their operations to the UK, HMRC are raising obstacles to them doing so. 

To quote Abraham Lincoln; "Actions speak louder than words".  There is a serious risk that HMRC's actions will be heard more clearly than any rhetoric from the Government and its representatives, undermining any message that the UK is welcoming to high technology ventures and deterring overseas companies from investing in the UK.  In the current climate, with the UK looking to reposition itself on the world stage, it is essential that the UK presents a coherent stance to draw prime investment onto these shores.   

If the UK does not act positively to encourage high tech companies, including those from overseas, to invest in the UK, there will be no high wage careers available in the UK for the graduates of the new Institutes of Technology.