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Osborne games hope sparks renewed tax breaks lobbying

TIGA stepping up efforts following hints of treasury sympathy

UK trade association TIGA is to intensify its ongoing campaign for tax relief, following claims that the government is again considering games industry incentives.

Eidos life president Ian Livingstone last week revealed to that chancellor George Osborne has offered an olive branch to the industry ahead of possible support in his next Budget, due March 23.

TIGA, which prepared the case for tax breaks that Osborne ultimately rejected last year, is now stepping up its lobbying in response.

Claimed TIGA boss Richard Wilson, "TIGA's Games Tax Relief makes economic sense. We anticipate over 5 years that Games Tax Relief would create or safeguard 9519 direct and indirect jobs (including 3366 jobs in the games industry), £431 million investment in development expenditure, £394 million in tax receipts to HM Treasury, at a cost of £194 million in tax relief to HM Treasury.

Wilso also argued that "TIGA is the only trade association to have consistently argued for Video Games Tax Relief - in public and in private.

"We urge game developers and publishers to join TIGA and to actively support our campaign in the weeks leading up to the Budget."

Added TIGA chairman and Rebellion CEO Jason Kinglsey, "We will be making a strong, positive case for Games Tax Relief, enhanced R&D tax credits and other fiscal measures to the Coalition Government and to other political parties in the run up to the March Budget. We need a Budget for growth."

Another report on Osborne's possible change of heart in the Sunday Times [paywall access required], which referenced tax breaks as costing £30 million a year, has been widely misinterpreted as being the sole extent of the proposed incentives. TIGA's £194 million estimate covers the span of five years - equivalent to £38.8 million per year.

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Alec Meer: A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.
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