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Govt relief will increase tax take for UK - Braben

Senior recruitment may prove harder with new tax break measures, says Frontier boss

Frontier founder David Braben has said that proposed tax breaks for the UK will increase the amount of tax paid by regional studios and may make it harder to recruit senior staff.

Full of praise for the measures which were announced in yesterday's budget, Braben pointed out that developers are likely to pay out more tax in the UK where they have traditionally used outsourcing in other countries.

"For one of our most recent shiny disc games more than half of the staff were outsourced, and a great many of them work in places like China and India," offered Braben. "This tax break, depending on how it's structured and depending on how it works, may actually increase the amount of tax we pay as a company in the UK.

"That's because all those payroll taxes, all those taxes that were previously paid in other countries, would now be incurred in the UK. That could make a very big difference. This actually may be a very low cost option for the government - all it's doing is moving employment from abroad back to the UK, which would be a really good thing."

Frontier has benefited from companies leaving the UK and shedding staff that have then joined the developer, but Braben said that recruiting top level talent may now become more difficult.

"There's a really big educational issue and these tax breaks may make it worse.

"As a company we've been able to recruit over the last year or so, because companies are going abroad and closing down, their people are coming to us. Ironically is they stop that it may make recruitment of senior people more difficult. We take on a lot of graduates but you need a certain ratio of senior people to graduates," he added.

GamesIndustry International has updated this article after originally misunderstanding David Braben's comments during the Westminster Media Forum.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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