â??We are in very uncertain times, and more cuts are yet to comeâ??, says CEO Wilson
Game industry association TIGA has issued a statement to Develop in the wake of today’s revelations that RDAs will be hit by sweeping funding cuts.
The group’s CEO Richard Wilson said it is “clearly terrible news for the RDAs in question, and we don’t know if all of them will still be here after all the budget cuts”.
Today, Chancellor George Osborne confirmed he would withdraw £270 million of the public’s money on Regional Development Agencies (RDA).
Four of Britain’s nine RDAs have connections with the game industry. More on that can be found here.
Wilson was more concerned by the wider economic situation than he was critical of the government placed at the centre of it.
“Vince Cable last week quipped that the coalition was making things up as it went along – I think there’s actually some truth to that,” he said.
“We are in very uncertain times, and more cuts are yet to come. Cuts to the likes of Screen Yorkshire and Codeworks will no doubt affect the games business. Any impact on the RDAs and it’s connected groups is – to put it mildly – unfortunate.”
He added, however, that there was a degree of inevitability to RDA cuts.
“From the government’s point of view it’s easier to cut back on business support than it is to cut back on, say, schools and hospitals,” he added.
“It’s not surprising, but that doesn’t make it any easier. The Lib-Con’s decision to cut back on RDA funding – and so, indirectly, the game industry – means that it’s absolutely critical that studios are supported in other ways such as tax credits.
“I think hat’s the best way the UK can remain competitive – because right now we have a very unfair tax system.”