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TIGA renews call for Games Tax Relief ahead of Budget

Thu 16 Feb 2012 9:05am GMT / 4:05am EST / 1:05am PST
Politics

New data, reduced scale and new opportunities for small business and start ups in latest report

TIGA

TIGA is the trade association representing the UKs games industry. The majority of our members are...

tiga.org

TIGA has made a new appeal to the government on the subject of Games Tax Relief with a detailed report, hoping to see changes in the March budget.

The revised report, A New Games Tax Relief: An Incentive to Build a Sustainable Games Development Sector, helps to highlight the changes that need to be made, how such changes have positively impacted the French and Canadian game industry communities and the ramifications should the Games Tax Relief not come into effect.

It also includes new data on the state of the UK industry, amendments to the proposed tax relief that reduce scale but open up eligibility and new measures to help start ups.

"The UK video games sector provides high skilled employment in an R&D intensive, export focused industry," said CEO Richard Wilson.

"Our well-targeted Games Tax Relief will generate employment and investment in the UK video games sector and so contribute to economic growth and to the rebalancing of our economy away from an over-dependence on financial services. The Government has an opportunity to back our sector in the March Budget: it must seize the chance."

TIGA stated that as well as heavy investment in the UK industry, the Games Tax Relief would create 4,660 jobs. This would be a stark contrast to the picture painted by TIGA's latest data, which shows that 41 per cent of jobs lost in the UK between 2009 and 2011 moved abroad. A large number of those relocated to Canada, a country where the tax reliefs for games are well publicised.

"The UK has one of the most capable and creative development workforces, and a long history of innovation and leadership in digital media," added Activison Worldwide Studios SVP Brian Ward.

"However, this leadership position has been lost to other countries that have aggressively pursued job creation and economic diversification via tax incentive programs aimed at games and digital media. The introduction of Games Tax Relief in the UK would level the playing field and make the UK competitive again. As has been amply proven in other jurisdictions, Games Tax Relief will lead to increased investment, significant job creation and economic growth. Games Tax Relief is good for the UK games industry and good for the UK economy."

Neon Play, Thumbstar Games, Blitz Studios, Jagex and Denki all lend their support to the new plans, and UKIE hope that the new evidence will have an impact on the 2012 budget, which Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed will take place on March 21.

"The opportunity for Britain is clear," said John Whittingdale OBE MP, who showed his support for the report by contributing the foreword.

"The global games industry has grown by 23 per cent through the global financial turmoil, and is projected to grow by over 8 per cent each year to 2015. If the right support from Government is forthcoming, the UK game development sector can take advantage of this projected growth, consequently contributing to the rebalancing of the UK economy."

Last week French tax breaks came under threat, which lead Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream to threaten to relocate.

12 Comments

Jamie Read
Junior 3D Artist

125 64 0.5
The games industry is HUGE compared to other sectors that receive some sort of funding, it's just this new government (that everyone fell for promises that THEY knew they couldn't deliver and voted for them) just likes to continue making ridiculous cuts, instead of smartly investing money in certain areas.
I really do hope this comes to fruition, but I wouldn't hold you breath everyone!

Posted:2 years ago

#1
Considering the amount of wastage that goes on in whitehall, why dont they sell off some buildings, get rid of frivolous expenditure such as rental of unnecessary foliage, ensuring that any non standard economy flights/trains/transport cannot be reimbursed, any use of prviate taxis have to be self funded, and totally reduce the amount of wastage Beeb spends. Do we really need stupid 3-5 minute long advertorials on Movie/TV screens about radio broadcasts, or re distribution of tax to different regions. I'd prefer if each region generates and reinvest its taxation locally, this will help London improve its transport links and amaneties significantly and thus really be a great region to invest in games. Can we remove stupid road calming measure (wood green - finchley must have a hump every 30 feet) and filling of potholes. All simple straightforward stuff.

This will get our airplanes, trains and road infrastructure...sorted :)

Posted:2 years ago

#2

John Bye
Senior Game Designer

479 444 0.9
Surely it's far too late now to be trying to get something like this into a budget that's happening in a month?

Posted:2 years ago

#3
Industrial pressure from business leaders, NGOs and groups can exert inexorable power on governments minus the cons.distractions of being in power. in UK, we can be thankful for the various groups and more well known TIGA and UKIE to apply such tightening of screws on the political masters. (that way, if one component is sleeping with TPTB, another route is available)

Even if G Osborne will be actively rewriting his budget due to the recent unemployment figures, Downgrading by Moodys and affronts by Scottish Salmond and Coalition appeasements to N Clegg, we can surely jump onto the halo effect of British film dominance, and thus plug into the "entertainment industry" element and thus drum up more and more support for the games industry.

To be realistic, its about continued unwavering water torture on government. Maybe we may not get any concessions initially, but its about developing strong pillars of the game movement, thus allowign for multiple platforms of discussion and voicing the strengths of the games (entertainment) industry - directly, and also the multitude of indirect strengths of applied gaming:

let us look at just one small area namely applied Defense: crytography, electronics and quantum physics, braingate - applied medico-motion control systems, applied remote view/control skills for drones, and unmanned VR/AR systems, surveillance, anti- terrorism, and virtual simulation labs for micro innerbody, interplanetary/exo planetary travel, applied logistics and network integration - streaming of data (and limitations of toxicity/radiation and human safety trials), etc, etc

its all gaming related as well!

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Neil Young
Programmer

270 300 1.1
Dr. Chee : "To be realistic, its about continued unwavering water torture on government."

I think you've hit the nail on the head - whilst I'm sure they'd love to get the change into this budget, this will be as much about a consistent message so if they don't get it this time, it's working towards a change in future.

Posted:2 years ago

#5
No chance. With Europe teetering on the brink of recession, and our own credit rating at risk, we've no money to spend.

Although our 11bn a year to give abroad is safe, so that's all okay then.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Jamie Read
Junior 3D Artist

125 64 0.5
@John
It's something TIGA has been campaigning for a long time now; this seems like the final push before this years budget.

Posted:2 years ago

#7
@ Fran - well it seems the allocated overseas aid (cough - bribe) is not needed in some countries...the UK govt doesnt even want it back (wont that help reduce any severe cuts we are experiencing in the NHS - namely the hospitals; maternity wards & A&E facilities being axed in North/South london. As anyone having to get emergency aid will know, driving to a hospital in London on short notice is impossible (and once you are at the said hospital, you could be lying there dying because....there is no parking for either hospital workers or patients)

How about fixing these local issues first eh :)

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Alex Lemco
Freelance Writer

8 24 3.0
I'd love it if, just this once, our government didn't completely shaft its chances to allow our workforce to gain a foothold in one of the biggest industries of the future. Too many talented individuals are trying to work out how to get out of the UK and into areas of the Western Hemisphere that will actually recognise what they've got to offer.

Why are we practically shooing out the people who could make our economy stronger with shortsighted tax schemes? Quite possibly because, in spite of the gargantuam sales figures and market interest, games are still widely misunderstood by the public sector and - perhaps deliberately? - the news media as a whole who can't think of anything more intelligent to print than an article decrying video game violence every once in a while.

It would help if the academic world could speed up their work on how video games are evolving as a cultural media, but that carries its own set of problems which aren't really short enough to put in a comment box.

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Perhaps if they reported the countries that break WTO rules to the WTO then this subsidy arms war would go away.

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Hannah Feehan
Studying BA Music Technology and Digital Media

3 0 0.0
I completely agree Mr Alex Lemco. I graduate this year and the prospect of trying to get a job somewhere in the UK in games or animation is very scary. I have no idea what I'm going to do. Education is so far away from being able to produce good graduates anyway. I've finsihed my degree in digital media and I'm now looking at art courses to make myself better. So thats one thing.

Another thing is that there is a market here that could make this country millions a year but the government are ignoring it for some reason. The figures are clear. The games industry is one of the very few that has continued to grow over the last few years during a recession. Why not give it a boost with a tax cut? How much effort would it actually involve? Mind you, the tories took away funding for independant films that might not make a huge profit so what hope have we got? Its sad. I don't think it will go through because our government does seem to insist on screwing good people over. Dark times I tell you!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Hannah Feehan on 16th February 2012 7:05pm

Posted:2 years ago

#11
I hope we are all wrong and finally Osborne behaves like a business FRIENDLY chancellor and the Tories actually support business and stop pandering to the bleating of Nick Clegg and his barmy party. Why oh why does the UK invent so much, create so many technologies and industries only to see them go overseas and for us buy for all time from overseas. All they seem to look at is short sighted politics. Europe is destroying itself from within and we are there too. Remove the pandering to the workshy and the European 'government ' (read people who have NEVER lived, worked or earned money in the real world) and become a leader again. Fix our bullshit laws so we can hire and fire more easily, fix the tax system so people that take chances with their OWN money benefit, make taxation such that is pays to work harder and give us an even keel with Canada and elsewhere. If we cannot remove other countries subsidies we MUST have an even playing field. If they don't want to give tax credits there are other ways of incentivising. RSA is garbage for example so remove it and allow that to be targeted to our industry (or others that still have a growth pattern). Allow our airports to compete on the world stage (runways anyone) and stop every new piece of legislation stifling our entrepreneurial spirit. AND finally on my rant, make work pay not unemployment and suddenly a deficit would go away to being a surplus. And yes the overseas 'ring fenced' budget should be seriously looked at. It is welfare that in a lot of cases does no good at all - so again target properly and fix our home issues first otherwise we will need handouts soon from the current recipients! And make our mobile networks work right! I am writing this from 35000 ft above Texas on a plane!! Rant over!

Posted:2 years ago

#12

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