‘Compelling arguments’ for games tax breaks concludes Parliamentary Committee

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, welcomed the Scottish Affairs Select Committee report,‘Video games industry in Scotland’ that was published today. The report recommends the Government undertake an in-depth review of the economics of Games Tax Relief as well as re-examining its cancellation.  The Report accepted many of TIGA’s key arguments: that the Government was wrong to drop Games Tax Relief on the grounds that it was poorly targeted; that the Government failed to consult with the video games industry before cancelling the tax break last year; that the UK games industry is not competing on a level playing field; that the video games industry needs targeted Government support;  that it is inconsistent for the Government to support a Film Tax Credit but not Games Tax Relief; and that the existing R&D tax credits should be enhanced.

The Committee could not reach a consensus over the issue of Games Tax Relief, but said:“There are both compelling arguments for a tax relief, most notably in the lessons of the effect such a relief has had in Canada, and real concerns.”  TIGA’s research shows that over 5 years, Games Tax Relief would create or safeguard 9,519 direct and indirect jobs (including 3,366 jobs in the games industry),£431 million investment in development expenditure,£394 million in tax receipts to HM Treasury, at a cost of£194 million in tax relief to HM Treasury. In other words, Games Tax Relief more than pays for itself. Games Tax Relief would benefit Scotland directly by creating or safeguarding£28 million in investment over the same time period.

Dr. Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, commented:

“The independent, cross party Scottish Affairs Select Committee has vindicated many of TIGA’s arguments. The Committee has recognised that there are‘compelling arguments’ for Games Tax Relief; dismissed the Government’s claim that Games Tax Relief was poorly targeted; criticised the Government for failing to consult with the industry; demonstrated that it is absurd for the Government to support the Film Tax Credit but not Games Tax Relief; acknowledged that the UK video games industry is not competing on a level playing field; that the games industry needs targeted Government support; and that the current R&D tax credits should be improved. 

TIGA fully agrees with the Parliamentary Committee that the case for Games Tax Relief needs to be reviewed by the Coalition Government. “The UK videogames industry is high tech, highly skilled and export oriented.  If the Coalition Government is serious about its intention of rebalancing the economy then it should invest in the UK video games industry by introducing Games Tax Relief. This would create jobs, boost investment, power an export focused sector and generate much needed tax revenue for the Government.

“Furthermore, Games Tax Relief would improve access to finance for UK video games companies. Research published by NESTA in 2009 showed that the advent of Games Tax Relief would: incentivise global publishers to increase funding in UK studios; encourage independent development studios to seek new external, non-publisher funding; encourage private investors to finance more projects in the games sector and to create new games finance vehicles; and promote original IP development. “TIGA will continue to lead the campaign for Games Tax Relief– a measure that would help a wide range of UK games businesses, from small to large development studios working across a spectrum of different platforms.”

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Notes to editors:

About TIGA:

TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have games publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. TIGA was awarded‘Trade Association of the Year’ and the‘Member Recruitment Award’ at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards 2010. TIGA has also been named as a finalist in the 2010 Chartered Management Institute (CMI) National Management and Leadership Awards in the category of‘The Outstanding Organisation of the Year Award (SME)’. TIGA is an‘Investors in People’ accredited organisation.

TIGA's vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business.  We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members.  This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.

For further information, please contact Eva Field, TIGA PR Manager on: 07814 039 983, or email eva@tiga.org.

 


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