Games industry group Tiga has slammed the Labour government for “failing again to back one of the principal creative industries of the future.”
In his Budget speech, delivered on Wednesday in the House of Commons, Alistair Darling failed to materialise any of the promises that Tiga was looking for.
Speaking to MCV on Tuesday, Tiga CEO Richard Wilson said that the government should introduce a 20% tax break on games production, modelled on the recently-introduced French system.
Such an initiative was not found in Darling’s budget, nor any other that would directly aid the games industry.
“It is disappointing that while Alistair Darling plans to spend £671bn over the coming financial year, he could not find the £150 million over five years to invest in the tax break for games production,” he said.
“The Government has missed a trick. Videogames are a growing sector and the UK games development sector is still world-beating,” he added.
“The Government should have used today’s Budget to reinforce success and introduced a tax break for games production. It is disappointing that it failed to do so.”
Wilson did mention that the newly-announced £750 million Strategic Investment Fund may be of aid to the games industry, in that £50 million of this amount will be allocated to the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), and another £10 million goes to UK Trade & Investment (UKT&I) to help exporters.
“Some UK game developers have already benefited from TSB funding and many have been helped by UKT&I in the past,” he said.
“As an accredited trade organisation, Tiga can work with UKTI’s Tradeshow Access Programme in supporting UK businesses looking to exhibit at overseas trade shows; we hope that some of this additional money for UKT&I will be made available to help even more games businesses attend overseas trade shows in the future.”