UK development industry trade body TIGA has condemned the Emergency Budget revealed today by Chancellor George Osborne for what it sees as a failure to introduce promised tax breaks for the UK video games industry.
“The Coalition Government has broken pre-election pledges made by the Conservative Party and by the Liberal Democrats to support and introduce Games Tax Relief,” said TIGA CEO Richard Wilson.
“Unless the Coalition Government introduces Games Tax Relief or a similar fiscal measure then the UK will forfeit millions of pounds in inward investment, jobs will be lost and we will cease to be a leading developer of video games.”
“The UK video games industry is export oriented, high tech, highly skilled and low carbon in output. This is an industry of the future which the Government should be supporting with action, not words,” he added
Wilson went on to welcome the reduction in corporation tax announced in the Budget, but stated that it did not address the specific needs of the video games sector.
“Nevertheless, the strength of our arguments, our implacable resolve and our unrelenting focus has ensured that in the run up today’s Emergency Budget, Games Tax Relief has received serious consideration at the highest levels of Government,” he said.
“TIGA has created a broad coalition in favour of Games Tax Relief: the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, the Labour Party and the Scottish National Party have all previously expressed their support for Games Tax Relief. Unfortunately, the state of the public finances has prevented the introduction of Games Tax Relief.”
Finally, Wilson stated TIGA’s intention to continue to push for industry tax breaks.
“We will work with developers and publishers to deliver this critical policy measure. We will not give up. We will also continue to campaign for a range of additional measures to ensure that the UK is the best place in the world in which to do games business,” he said.
TIGA chairman Jason Kingsley was also disappointed by today’s events in the Treasury.
“TIGA has made a real impact in getting Games Tax Relief considered at the highest political level. It is hugely disappointing that the Coalition Government has decided not to introduce this tax measure, especially given the existence of tax relief for other sectors of the economy,” he said.
“TIGA will continue to lead the campaign for Games Tax Relief in the months ahead. Games Tax Relief or a similar fiscal measure is the industry’s top priority. Other policy issues are entirely secondary. We need a tax environment which allows UK games businesses to compete on a level footing with our overseas competitors.”
Gareth Edmondson, TIGA vice-chairman, said he believed an opportunity had been missed.
“TIGA’s campaign for Games Tax Relief has raised awareness about the video games industry in Government and in Parliament. The medium-term prospects for Games Tax Relief are positive. TIGA will continue to strive to make the UK the best place to do games business,” he concluded.