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Pre-Budget Report To Cost UK Games Industry

December 10, 2009 Written by Sebastian Moss


TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, recently warned that Parliament has one “last serious chance” to stop the British Games Industry shrinking at an unprecedented rate. Today TIGA has announced that the Government’s refusal to give a commitment to introduce a Games Tax Relief in the Pre-Budget Report was a “serious mistake and a failure of imagination”.

TIGA’s CEO, Richard Wilson, stated:

“The UK economy is in serious shape: we are still technically in recession, unemployment stands at 7.8 per cent, and Government borrowing has soared to £180 billion. While the public finances need to be brought under control primarily through spending cuts, the UK economy desperately needs to go for growth. This means creating a tax environment that supports and sustains wealth creating and IP generating businesses. In the games industry’s case, this means enacting a Games Tax Relief.

“We have consistently warned the Government that without the introduction of a Games Tax Relief the video games development sector will likely decline by 5% each year over each of the next five years. Conversely, if a Games Tax Relief is introduced, then the industry will eventually enjoy annual growth of 4%. In addition, Games Tax Relief will more than pay for itself. Over five years the tax measure would cost £192 million but would deliver £415 million in tax receipts. Games Tax Relief would also secure 3,550 highly skilled graduate level jobs.”

“The Government has shown itself willing to support the UK Film Industry through tax relief, the oil industry with tax breaks, declining manufacturing businesses with loans and grants, and has spent billions bailing out the banking industry. The UK videogames industry is inherently successful, highly skilled and bursting with potential. It is the entertainment industry for the 21st century. The UK video games industry has the potential to be world beating. Yet we cannot will the end without providing the means: the Government must invest in the industry if it wants it to remain world leading.

“TIGA is convinced that the games industry has the potential to be one of the UK’s leading digital industries as we emerge from the recession. We will redouble our efforts to convince HM Treasury and other policymakers of the need to invest in our sector in the form of Games Tax Relief, more generous R&D tax credits and other fiscal measures.”