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ELSPA: Govt must work with industry to address skills gap

Publisher association "extremely disappointed" by plans to axe tax breaks

The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publisher's Association has said it is extremely disappointed that the government has decided to scrap plans for tax relief for the UK's videogame sector.

Chancellor George Osbourne announced the news today during his first budget, calling plans "poorly targeted" a point that has been condemned by developer association TIGA and others within the games industry.

"Bearing in mind the pre-election commitment towards tax breaks made by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats we are extremely disappointed by the outcome of today's Budget," commented Michael Rawlinson, director general of ELSPA. "Our industry will be rightly puzzled as to how tax breaks can be lauded before an election, only to be seen as 'poorly targeted' and scrapped just 6 weeks later."

Rawlinson said the government needs to work with the games industry on areas such as the skills gap if the creative industries are to grow in the UK.

"We understand that this decision has been made in the context of the current economic climate. Yet the Chancellor today spoke of the need for a more balanced economy. If this is to be attained the government must acknowledge that the creative industries are of vital importance.

"Therefore in the absence of tax breaks it is the essential that the government work with our industry to ensure that the policies which we have outlined - such as addressing the skills gap and better access to R&D initiatives - are implemented."

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