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TIGA condemns tax break U-turn

Wilson, Edmonson, Kingsley all pledge to continue to fight for relief in the UK

Developer association TIGA has condemned the UK government for cancelling promised tax breaks for the videogames sector.

The group had been instrumental in campaigning for tax relief, praising the decision to help the UK when Labour's Alastair Darling initially confirmed support. It now says it "will not give up" and is seeking to refine the case for relief in the UK.

"The Coalition Government has broken pre-election pledges made by the Conservative Party and by the Liberal Democrats to support and introduce Games Tax Relief," said Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA.

"Unless the Coalition Government introduces Games Tax Relief or a similar fiscal measure then the UK will forfeit millions of pounds in inward investment, jobs will be lost and we will cease to be a leading developer of video games. The UK video games industry is export oriented, high tech, highly skilled and low carbon in output. This is an industry of the future which the Government should be supporting with action, not words."

CEO of Rebellion and TIGA chairman Jason Kingsley said today's blow was "hugely disappointing" and that tax breaks remain the number one priority for the UK games business.

"TIGA has made a real impact in getting Games Tax Relief considered at the highest political level. It is hugely disappointing that the Coalition Government has decided not to introduce this tax measure, especially given the existence of tax relief for other sectors of the economy," he said.

"However, TIGA will continue to lead the campaign for Games Tax Relief in the months ahead. Games Tax Relief or a similar fiscal measure is the industry’s top priority. Other policy issues are entirely secondary. We need a tax environment which allows UK games businesses to compete on a level footing with our overseas competitors.

Gareth Edmonson, Reflections boss and vice chairman of TIGA added: "The Government has missed an opportunity by not providing for Games Tax Relief in the Budget.

"However, TIGA’s campaign for Games Tax Relief has raised awareness about the video games industry in Government and in Parliament. The medium-term prospects for Games Tax Relief are positive. TIGA will continue to strive to make the UK the best place to do games business."

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Latest comments (7)

Hear hear!
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 6 years ago
As said in the other thread, not really surprised this happened.

Hopefully when things have blown over they'll reconsider this.
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Kieren Bloomfield Software Engineer, EA Sports6 years ago
While it's not good news I don't think it's fair to slam the government over not getting tax breaks for games development when the country is in such debt that so many cuts are happening elsewhere too. Public sector workers are getting a pay freeze for two years for example.
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Its a fair point but a lot of people outside of the public sector have actually taken pay cuts (permanent and temporary) to avoid job losses. i would love to employ more UK based dev but its too expensive when you are being pressed on margin by everyone in the chain! tax breaks for employing UK skilled engineers, artists, designers and production staff would only generate revenue - surely? Canada has done this successfully over several years.
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Alistair McNally Senior Director of Creative Development, EA BioWare6 years ago
The one bright spot here is that at least the U.K is still producing excellent talent.
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Michael Abraham game designer 6 years ago
@ Alistair:
maybe so, but it's a shame a lot of that excellent talent will end up in the dole queue or working elsewhere because the lack of (or slowed) growth in the industry means there's more people then there are jobs.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Michael Abraham on 24th June 2010 5:41pm

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Not necessarily. but it does mean some real talent will just have to passionately seek like minded minds, and get together.

In an age of austerity, and circumstance, great innovation can be had with small start up biz run by mid level to experienced developers wanting to create something new, something of their own. No matter the circumstance.

And UK, has traditionally and still is a hotbed of such creative movements of good original IP. its in the air and blood :)
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