Road map to detail tax relief implementation; proposals set to unite industry with academia

Tiga to launch tax break and education manifesto

Leading industry association Tiga is set to release its new policy manifesto for the UK game industry, Develop understands.

The road-map will propose, in detail, how the next government should implement a series of measures – from tax breaks to reform in academia – to advance and assist the recuperating British sector.

It is thought that Tiga’s comprehensive manifesto document will be released today.

The paper will outline strategy on a range of issues critical to the industry. It explores how game development tax breaks can be implemented for projects with modest, medium and high budgets, and discusses the intricacies of a ‘cultural test’.

The document proposes how the industry can assist academia, how game design should be promoted as a career option in schools, and how financial measures should incentivise more undergraduates to study mathematics and science degrees.

The timing of the manifesto release is no coincidence. Yesterday the prime minister called to dissolve parliament and set an election date for May 6.

The Government’s recent Budget report proposed to implement game development tax breaks during the 2011 fiscal year, following a consultancy process with the industry that Tiga will no doubt be at the heart of. The new policy manifesto will soon be presented to the next Government as a strategy template to follow.

Tiga believes that its ‘Games Tax Relief’ plan could create or save 3,550 graduate level jobs and increase or safeguard £457 million in development expenditure.

The timing of the Budget announcement, and Tiga’s manifesto, is vital. Hopes are high that the UK is about to recuperate from the damaging effects of a lengthy absence of tax breaks and ‘brain drain’ in schools.

All three competing parties looking to form the next government are welcoming tax break reform for the sector – though so far, the Labour Government is the only one to have endorsed Tiga’s tax break policy.

The Conservatives have promised tax breaks in the first budget if elected, but have not detailed their policy nor endorsed Tiga’s template as yet. The Liberal Democrats have spoken in general terms that they will support tax breaks.

At the inaugural ELSPA Question Time debate, key MPs from all three parties spoke of the value of the game industry in encouraging more pupils to study maths and science.

Develop will publish data from the report as it goes public.

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