Tax breaks decision 'imminent', says Vaizey

Tax breaks decision 'imminent', says Vaizey
James Batchelor

By James Batchelor

February 24th 2014 at 9:37PM

Culture Minister expects European Commission to make an announcement about UK games tax relief 'very soon'

The limbo that UK video games tax credits are currently trapped in could be coming to an end in the very near future.

Ed Vaizey, the UK minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, told the industry tonight that he believes a decision by the European Commission is “imminent”, and shed light on why other creative industries have found it easier to secure tax breaks.

Speaking at tonight’s launch of BUGS – a new initiative between studios and universities to help graduates seek jobs with finished games under their belt – the MP said: “We are working very hard to achieve a resolution. I don’t want to say anything until we have a result.

“We are expecting a decision imminently. We do hope that we will hear an announcement very shortly. I do think the tax credit is going to be a vital part of the success of the industry.”

Vaizey referenced the tax breaks that have been given to other creative industries, as well as how much those sectors have benefitted from the financial support, saying that relief for games developers has been “more difficult” to secure.

“Television and animation tax breaks are seen by the Commission as add-ons to the film tax credits,” he explained, later adding: “You only have to see the amazing effect the tax credits had on our animation industry in just six months. It was an industry that was literally leaving these shores and it has suddenly regenerated in the last six months, and that’s fantastic.

“Tax credits are not just there to support industries, they are there to support British creative industries. Because we are experiencing another industrial revolution in my opinion, we’re experiencing a creative industrial resolution and games are a part of it.”

Tax breaks were confirmed for the UK industry back in 2012 but have since been delayed while the European Commission rules whether or not they are warranted in our market.