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UKIE "disappointed" that Scottish Affairs Committee "undecided" on tax breaks

Trade body to "continue to work with TIGA"

Games industry trade association UKIE has criticised what it feels is mixed messages concerning tax breaks from the Scottish Affairs Committee.

Said director general Michael Rawlinson, "UKIE was pleased to give evidence as part of the Scottish Affairs Committee's inquiry but is disappointed that the committee was undecided on how effective tax breaks would be for the UK games industry."

The criticism may perhaps be seen as surprising in some quarters, given last year's discovery that UKIE had itself advised caution on the 'cultural' elements of tax relief proposals.

The Scottish Affairs Committee's report, published today, came out strongly in favour of tax breaks, but admitted some concerns that current proposals may overly favour large international companies at the expense of smaller domestic developers. The report also acknowledged that nations such as Germany and Australia had successful games industries despite a lack of government incentives.

However, Rawlinson did state that "UKIE is pleased that the committee recommends that tax breaks should be kept under review and that a comprehensive assessment of the benefits of a games tax relief government should be carried out."

The UKIE boss also observed that the organisation "shall continue to work with TIGA and government to deliver a compelling case for industry specific tax breaks." The last week has seen a number of high-profile suggestions that the two trade bodies should work together more closely - and perhaps even merge.

Rawlinson also argued that his association was perhaps more well-placed to affect change than was the SAC. "UKIE's wider access to finance agenda (of which tax breaks form a part) outlines additional ways that government can support our entire industry from small start-ups to more established companies.

"UKIE shall be urging treasury to implement our access to finance recommendations ahead of the next budget but we join the Scottish Affairs Committee's call to have government better promote the industry to Treasury and other relevant government departments."

The association went on to praise the Committee's support for changes to the education sector and the PEGI age ratings system.

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Alec Meer avatar
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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