Labour pledges tax help for UK games industry

Labour pledges tax help for UK games industry

By Rob Crossley

March 24th 2010 at 1:20PM

Victory for the industry as Alistair Darling talks up British sector

The last Budget of the current Government has revealed that Labour will provide tax help for the UK games industry.

Speaking at today’s Budget report, the UK Chancellor told the House of Commons that the British game industry needs support, mentioning a tax credit system similar to that of the film industry.

The full budget report said that "creative industries, including the video games industry, make a valuable economic and cultural contribution to the UK."

It read: "The Government announces that, following consultation on design, it will introduce a tax relief for the UK's video games industry, subject to state aid approval from the European Commission."

During his Budget speech, Darling spoke of difficult choices his Government has to make, yet in a teasing instance, said his Budget package will help businesses innovate.

The Chancellor has been under pressure to cut into Britain’s staggering budget deficit – an issue compounded by Labour’s need to appear frugal ahead of the next General election.

In this context, calls for game development tax breaks – or any sector-specific tax credit system – seemed unlikely.

Yet Darling said that a stronger economy can make a major contribution to cutting the deficit, before pledging tax breaks.

He said that the best way to help British industry “is to work with key industries”.

“We have world-class industries, but our competitors are not standing still” he said.

“The best way to open up credit is to boost competition,” he added.

Darling spoke of how the UK’s opportunities will come from new markets, and pledged to provide a launch-pad for success in the digital sectors.

[UK TAX BREAKS: ALL OF TODAY'S NEWS]