Creative sector tax breaks go live – except for video games

The government has said it is committed to UK games tax relief as incentives are launched for the animation and high-end TV industries.

Speaking at a special launch event for the new creative sector tax reliefs, UK chancellor George Osborne outlined the Government’s plans to help Britain’s TV, animation and game industries compete on a global scale.

The event provided further overview of how the tax relief schemes would impact and UK industries, and the Government outlined its intention to respond to the European Commission’s investigation into UK games tax breaks and the questions surrounding the cultural benefits of such a scheme.

Osborne and Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey stated they were committed to UK games tax relief, and tried to allay fears surrounding the future of such incentives, likening it to France’s own games scheme.

Osborne went on to describe the UK’s creative industries as one of the jewel’s in Britain’s Crown, stressing how much these sectors need government support to help the UK compete on a global scale.

The Government’s industrial strategy is simple: we want to identify Britain’s strengths and reinforce them, so that Britain can compete in the modern global economy,” said Osborne.

Our creative industries are one of the jewels in Britain’s crown and are just the kind of industry I want to back, which is why we are introducing these new tax breaks to help and promote production in the UK.”

Ukie vice chairman Ian Livingstone, who was also at the event, further highlighted the importance of games tax relief to help the industry compete in a global market, and expressed his disappointment at the EC’s decision to investigate incentives for the game sector.

He added that the UK industry would answer all necessary questions and urged expedience in giving tax relief the green light.

The UK games industry requires a tax credit scheme in order to fulfil its true potential, in particular helping more British businesses to make more culturally British games to compete in the global market," said Livingstone.

"We are very disappointed that the EC has announced a full investigation into the UK Games tax credit scheme. The UK industry will be responding in full to all their questions and would urge the Commission to approve the scheme as soon as possible.”

Image credit: Film London / James Dewar

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