Two cheers for Conservative business proposals

Immediate release

November 12th 2008

Tiga today welcomed the thrust of the Conservative Party’s proposals to ease the tax burden on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but warned that their plans to promote training were unnecessarily restrictive. The Conservative Party’s plans for business were set out in the policy document Keep Britain Working, published today.

Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, said:

“The UK games development sector is competing on an uneven playing field. Our competitors in Australia, Canada, France and many states within the USA benefit from a tax break for games production. A tax break for games production similar to that operating in France would enable the UK games development sector to create more jobs and plough significant investment into the industry.

“In the meantime, measures to cut the tax burden on business in general and on games developers in particular, are welcome. The Conservatives’ proposals to enable SMEs to delay their quarterly VAT payments for up to six months, to reduce employers’ national insurance contributions by one per cent for up to six months (for those businesses with fewer than five employees), to cut corporation tax from 28p to 25p and to reverse the planned increase in the small companies’ rate from 20p to 22p are encouraging. Over time, UK businesses and developers will flourish best in a low tax environment. We hope that the Government will take steps in this direction in the forthcoming Pre-Budget Report.

“However, the Conservative’s focus on boosting apprenticeships is too restrictive. The apprenticeship model is not ideal for every sector of the UK economy. Games developers need more graduates, particularly in computer science, mathematics and physics. Many games developers already employ highly qualified teams. Their current and future training requirements will not typically be met by embarking on apprenticeships. There may also be good vocational courses and training programmes other than apprenticeships that would help game developers and improve the skills of their workforce.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

1. Tiga is the national trade association that represents games developers in the UK and in Europe. We have 160 members, the majority of whom are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have outsourcing companies, technology businesses and university departments that are members.

2. 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.

3. For further information, please contact: Dr Richard Wilson, Tiga CEO on: 0845 0941095; Mob: 07875 939643; or: Email: richard.wilson@tiga.org.

4. For further information on the Conservatives’ plans for business, see: http://www.conservatives.com/News/News_stories/2008/11/Keep_Britain_working_tax_cuts_for_new_jobs.aspx


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