TIGA: "Good reasons" to believe new government will introduce tax relief

Trade body welcomes new coalition government

UK games industry trade body TIGA has said that there are good reasons to believe the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government will honour the games tax relief pledged by the former Chancellor during the March 2010 budget.

It has also said that it looks forward to working with the new government on industry-related issues which also include lower tuition fees for undergraduates studying maths and computer science degrees.

"TIGA is looking forward to working with the new government to advance the video games industry's potential, and in particular to implement Games Tax Relief - the top priority for the UK games industry," said TIGA CEO Richard Wilson.

"Games Tax Relief is needed to ensure that the UK games industry competes on a level playing with its overseas rivals. Additionally, Games Tax Relief will create jobs and boost investment in a research intensive, export oriented industry. This is precisely the kind of tax measure that is needed to help rebalance the UK economy from an over-dependence on financial services.

"TIGA will contact key ministers in the new administration and will aim to work closely with them to ensure the implementation of Games Tax Relief as soon as possible."

The trade body said that a number of statements made by key Liberal Democrat and Conservative members pre-election were good reasons to believe the games tax breaks would go ahead.

On April 30, Don Foster MP, then Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said in a statement to TIGA: "Liberal Democrats support the introduction of a Games Tax Relief. Following consultation on the details, we would implement the Relief as soon as possible."

Wilson added that he had also met with Vince Cable MP in early March and had positive discussions with him on the issue of tax breaks.

"TIGA congratulates Jeremy Hunt on his appointment to the position of Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport and Vince Cable on his appointment to the position of Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills," he said.

"TIGA also welcomes Jeremy Hunt's recognition that the creative industries 'are vital elements in the UK's economic recovery'. If Games Tax Relief is introduced then the UK video games industry will create jobs, spur investment and contribute to an export led recovery."

"TIGA has published a strategy for supporting our successful video games industry: The UK video games industry: an agenda for the next Parliament," added TIGA chairman and CEO of Rebellion Jason Kingsley.

"We hope that the new government will look favourably on the policy proposals in this paper, including the introduction of Games Tax Relief, more generous R&D tax credits and lower tuition fees for undergraduates studying mathematics and computer science degrees."

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Latest comments (7)

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D7 years ago
I think Ed Vaizey was reappointed to the government on Friday night, too. Sure, the Tories didn't include this in their manifesto, but Vaizey was trying to talk a good game - let's see i he follows through.
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robert troughton Managing Director, Coconut Lizard7 years ago
As I mentioned at the time, the strategy outlined really doesn't seem to be aimed at helping the employees of UK companies as much as the owners of them... so, really, it's not going to help the UK as much as it's claiming to. The bigger problem in the UK is the loss of talent to such as Canada.

For example, from the strategy:-

"09 The basic income tax rate of 20 per cent and the higher rate of 40 per cent should be retained. Thresholds should be linked to inflation to avoid the effect of fiscal drag. The 50 per cent rate should be abolished."

The 50% rate was only proposed for those on salaries above 150k... ie. the MDs of some UK companies. It really won't make much difference to 99.9% of people in the UK games industry.

TIGA should really aim to help employees as much as it does employers - both financially and in a "quality of life" way. If employers are going to be receiving help from the government it would be good to use this as an opportunity to have them sign up to something akin to IGDA's QoL ideas (reducing expected amounts of overtime and so on).
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John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London7 years ago
Also from the TIGA strategy - "26 Maintain a relatively lightly regulated labour market in order to enable UK games businesses to operate as flexibly as possible". That hardly sounds beneficial to UK employees either.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D7 years ago
John, hadn't noticed that. Interesting. Like I said before though, this is the very same TIGA that advertised a seminar on how studios could offshore back in Feb - do you really expect any more from them?

Rob, +1. Don't forget though that salaries in Canada can be way higher than here anyway, with a lower living cost in many regions. So it's not just messing with the tax system, but it should be about making sure that a % of any tax rebate under the tax breaks is funneled into better pay/conditions for people like you.
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robert troughton Managing Director, Coconut Lizard7 years ago
John, wow... I never noticed that one either..! That's pretty shocking, actually... a bit like the Fast Food Restaurant exemption in the US from minimum wage laws..!

Is there a list of all the people on the TIGA board somewhere..? I'm pretty damn sure that they're all going to be high-profile industry execs.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D7 years ago
Robert, why don't you email Richard Wilson and ask him for a list, see what he says?
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Michael Abraham game designer 7 years ago
not very nice looking to me. seems a case of making life easier for the higher ups, whilst keeping things the same (or worse) for the people who actually do the work (and those trying to break into the industry).

things that should be offered are incentives for companies to maintain their employees between product releases, to hire or offer graduate schemes for new people, or maybe even a form of apprenticeship. - these are things that'd help the economy by reducing unemployment and giving better job security.

as things are, we lose a lot of fresh blood to overseas if only because no one in this country seems to want to hire anyone with less than 3-4 years experience (and/or 1-2 AAA console releases).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Michael Abraham on 17th May 2010 12:02pm

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