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TIGA strengthening argument on tax relief with new evidence

Richard Wilson plans to argue a more compelling case before year's end

Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, has told that he will be further strengthening the trade body's argument for tax breaks, with new evidence to be submitted before year's end.

Recently, TIGA's document on the benefits of UK games industry tax-breaks was rejected by the coalition government on grounds of inaccurate number-crunching and bad estimates. Speaking in an interview with today, Wilson said that he would not be giving up the fight.

"We're updating our evidence, and we'll have further evidence to release before the end of the year in fact, about games tax relief and why that would be beneficial to the UK economy as a whole, and the games industry in particular.

"So we continue to marshal our arguments, I think is the first thing. Secondly we're strengthening our link politically, as you know, TIGA instigated the creation of the all-party-group on the videogames industry last year. The group reformed after the election. We intend to work with parliamentarians from the all-party group to ensure that games tax relief remains a live political issue," he continued.

"We're not going to give up on this. UK governments change their minds all the time. I see in the papers that George Osborne is going to change, at least in emphasis, his policy in regards to bank bonuses. So, policies can change all the time. There's no reason why, in principle, we can't change the games tax relief proposal in terms of it being supported by the government.

"As I say, we'll marshal our evidence - make it still stronger. I think it's a compelling argument anyway, but we'll make it even stronger. We'll work with parliamentarians and we'll continue to present our case to the government. We're not going to give up."

Exchequer secretary to the Treasury David Gauke, who spoke about the rejection of the research in the Commons, reasoned that the government was interested in a lower tax rate all round, rather than helping individual industries - unless evidence could be provided that there had been a significant market collapse.

Last week, TIGA released the results of a two-year survey of the UK games industry, showing that the UK development community has lost nine per cent of it's workforce since 2008.

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Dan Pearson