Tiga slams Government's inaction on Canada

Tiga slams Government's inaction on Canada

By Ed Fear

February 11th 2009 at 10:56AM

Lack of WTO petition proves need for production tax breaks in the UK, says association

Tiga has expressed dismay at the Government's attempts to appease the games industry by promising to investigate the legality of Canada's tax breaks - and then admitting that they break no rules.

As such, the Government cannot lodge any appeal with the World Trade Organisation to say that Quebec's tax breaks create an unfair advantage - leaving the industry back at square one.

“Last year the Government said that the UK, via the European Union, would take legal action against Canada if its support for its video games industry violated WTO rules," said Tiga CEO Richard Wilson. "We now know that there are no legal grounds on which to lodge a complaint."

“We cannot stop our competitors from benefiting from tax breaks but there is a simple solution: copy them. Just as Australia, Canada, China, France, Singapore, South Korea and some American states help their games industries to grow through extensive tax breaks, so the UK Government should back our games industry with a tax break for games production. If you can’t beat them, join them.

“The Government stands naked before the games industry, bereft of a credible fiscal policy with which to support the sector. The Government should announce in the Budget its intention to introduce a 20 per cent tax break for games production, similar to the EU approved French regime that applies to games that pass a cultural test. With a tax break of this kind in place, an additional £220 million would be invested, potentially creating a further 1,600 high quality jobs. This measure would cost HM Treasury £150 million over five years – a fraction of the recent £100 billion taxpayer bailout of the UK banking system.”