The United Kingdom is home to many of the world’s leading developers, however the British Government’s lack of support for the Games Industry has caused the sector to face one of its greatest crises in recent memory, a topic which PlayStation LifeStyle interviewed the Conservative’s Shadow Minister for Culture on. Now, TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, has released its Pre-Budget Report submission in advance of the Government’s Pre-Budget report on December 9, 2009.
In the document TIGA has urged the Government to back the videogames industry through the introduction of a Games Tax Relief.
Richard Wilson, the CEO of TIGA, said:
“A Games Tax Relief for the UK video games industry is absolutely essential if we are to safeguard and grow one of the UK’s most promising and creative sectors. Our Government must back this crucial industry in the Pre-Budget Report on December 9th. TIGA and other independent experts have provided convincing evidence for the introduction of the Games Tax Relief. If the Government is to realise the potential of the UK video games industry then it must take the opportunity of the Pre-Budget Report to announce a commitment to establish Games Tax Relief. This is the last serious chance to demonstrate a commitment to the sector in the life of this Parliament.
“The UK games industry is still successful and world leading. However, because most of our key competitors benefit from a tax break for games production, our industry is at a competitive disadvantage. Unless the UK Government introduces TIGA’s proposed Games Tax Relief, our research suggests that employment in the development sector will fall by 5% in each of the next five years, from 9,025 in 2009 to 7,351 in 2014. There would also be a fall of £1.9 million in development expenditure over the same period.”
“In contrast, with Games Tax Relief enacted, the industry would stop shrinking in 2010, grow by 2% in 2011 and by 4% in each of the next three years. 3,550 graduate level jobs and £457 million of investments in the development sector would be created or protected with the advent of the tax break. Games Tax Relief would more than pay for itself. Over five years the tax measure would cost £192 million but would deliver £415 million in tax receipts.”
“The UK Government has a clear choice: invest in an inherently successful industry to perpetuate our leading position in the world, or preside over the decline of a key knowledge industry.”
The TIGA Pre-Budget report submission also outlines TIGA’s wider tax policies including specific policies for Corporation Tax; National Insurance Contributions; Research and Development Tax Credits; encouraging investment into IP generating businesses; and increasing the value of corporation tax losses. The TIGA Pre-Budget submission can read in full here.