The Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) announced today by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, contained a raft of measures to cut UK public sector spending. But it failed to include any reference to the importance of the video games sector to the UK economy and how it could be a growth driver if the UK had the right tax environment.
Commenting on the CSR announced today, Dr Richard Wilson (CEO, TIGA) stated:
“We welcome the announcement that the science budget is to be maintained. However, there were few measures to promote growth and no reference to the video games industry.
“On the eve of the CSR announcement, we received stark evidence from Danny Bilson, THQ Executive Vice President for Core Game Brands, on the need for tax breaks. He stated that THQ was investing in Quebec because of the provision of 37.5 per cent tax breaks and that his company would be investing in the UK if the Government here also provided tax breaks.
“If the Chancellor wants to see more exports, then look no further than the UK video games industry. Last year, it exported 62 per cent of its sales. When the Chancellor talks about the need for more jobs, our industry can deliver. But we can’t do this when countries like Canada are offering tax breaks and attracting the investment that should be coming to the UK.
“Unless the coalition Government urgently reappraises its decision to cancel GTR then the UK video games industry will suffer and it will not be able to deliver the jobs, exports and investment so desperately needed to rebalance our economy.”
Notes to editors:
TIGA research shows that over a five year period, Games Tax Relief could create or save 3,550 graduate levels jobs, secure£457 million in new and saved development expenditure and generate£415 million in new and saved tax receipts. Significantly, Games Tax Relief would more than pay for itself as the cost of introducing the Relief to the Treasury would amount to£192 million over five years.