TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry,today outlined three key priorities for the Coalition Government to assist the gaming sector - the introduction of Games Tax Relief or a similar tax relief as soon as possible; the retention and expansion of the SME R&D tax credit scheme; and a reduction in tuition fess for students studying mathematics and computer science degrees. TIGA CEO, Dr Richard Wilson, made the recommendations at the Develop Conference, currently taking place in Brighton.
“TIGA has consistently drawn attention to the increasingly uneven global playing field, with some Governments providing huge fiscal incentives and tax breaks to encourage gaming companies to relocate. TIGA’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We can only achieve this with a favourable tax environment that encourages investment into the games industry and supports development businesses. TIGA’s priority is to continue to campaign for Games Tax Relief or a similar tax relief. Games Tax Relief would create a level playing field with our overseas competitors, generate investment and increase skilled employment.
“TIGA also supports the retention and expansion of the Small Firms R&D tax credit scheme. This scheme is essential for the development of new IP and technology that will allow the UK to remain a leading creative force.
“In education the Government should address the skill shortage that the games industry faces through the provision of lower tuition fees for computer science and mathematics degree courses and investment in higher education. There is also a need for greater collaboration between the videogames industry and educators via industrial secondments and knowledge transfer. A career in the videogames industry should be promoted in schools to encourage the study of mathematics and science.”
TIGA also recommended that the Government work more closely with trade organisations such as TIGA when devising policy that affects the videogames industry. In addition accredited trade organisations like TIGA should be able to use UK Trade&Investment (UKT&I) grants to cover travel and accommodation costs as well exhibition expenses, this would encourage more UK companies to attend overseas exhibitions and drive exports.
“Today TIGA outlined a concrete set of policies for the Westminster Coalition Government which will support the videogames industry and foster its continued growth. We hope to work closely with the Coalition Government and all Parliamentarians on these policies and will continue to work hard to promote the agenda of the UK videogames industry. TIGA also hopes to work closely with the Scottish Government and MSPs to advance the industry in Scotland.”
TIGA’s Policy Agenda:
Games Tax Relief is the industry’s top priority and should be introduced at the earliest opportunity.
The rate of relief under the SME R&D tax credit scheme should be increased from 175 per cent of qualifying expenditure to 250 per cent.
Engineers and scientists should be recruited into HMRC specialist R&D Tax Credit evaluation units.
The videogames industry should be promoted as a career option at school to encourage the study of science and mathematics subjects.
Expenditure on higher education should be increased to ensure that UK universities remain internationally competitive and can provide world beating tertiary education.
Tuition fees for students studying mathematics and computer science degrees should be reduced.
Industrial secondments and knowledge transfer between universities and games businesses should be promoted.
Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for Creative Media, should promote STEM subjects and art and animation courses at school, and support those working in the games industry to undertake higher-level training.
More financial support for videogames should be delivered through national programmes. Existing Regional Development Agency funding for video games is irrational and inequitable.
Accredited trade organisations like TIGA should be able to use UK Trade&Investment (UKT&I) grants to cover travel and accommodation costs as well exhibition expenses.
Government ministers in Whitehall and in Edinburgh and politicians in Westminster and Holyrood should engage with trade associations such as TIGA when devising policy. TIGA is a voluntary organisation that genuinely represents the videogames sector.
Notes to Editors:
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'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 firstname.lastname@example.org.