Trade bodies respond to UK games tax relief

Trade bodies respond to UK games tax relief
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

December 5th 2012 at 3:14PM

UKIE and TIGA welcome first details of government scheme

The trade bodies for the UK games industry have responded favourably to the Government’s planned tax breaks for the nation’s games sector.

Games companies will receive up to 25 per cent in production tax relief, Chancellor George Osborne announced this afternoon.

UKIE is pleased with this move, although it pushed for a 30 per cent rate of relief.

TIGA was somewhat more optimistic and believe the government aid will help the UK reclaim its position in the global games industry.

UKIE CEO Jo Twist said: “This first detail of the tax relief seems a positive step for our members and the wider industry. Whilst we called for a 30 per cent rate of relief for the scheme, Ukie was nonetheless pleased to see the rate set at 25 per cent, giving the games sector parity with other UK creative industries.

“As soon as the full draft legislation is published we’ll be poring over the finer details to ensure that the fine tuning and implementation of the proposal is fully in line with the needs of our industry.”

TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson commented: “Tax breaks for games production will ensure that the UK remains a world leader in the high technology video games development industry. A single 25 per cent level of relief will be simple to administer and economically impactful. Yet we will have to monitor the actions of our competitors: the province of Quebec in Canada already boasts a 37.5 per cent level of tax relief.

“Tax breaks for the creative industries will boost production in games development, animation and high end TV production. They will contribute to a re-balancing of the UK economy away from an over-reliance on public sector employment and financial services towards highly skilled, export focused industries.”

Both bodies were also “delighted” by the government’s decision to introduce a £6 million skills fund for the creative industries.

“We’re also delighted that the Chancellor has recognised the need to ensure the long term future of the UK games industry by introducing a skills fund that the games sector can access. We’ll be working with Government and Creative Skillset to make sure that this extra element adds real value to UK games businesses,” said Twist.

UKIE Vice Chairman and life president of Eidos, Ian Livingstone added: “Today’s announcement of additional skills funding is more positive news, and a welcome sign of the games industry being seen as having the potential to be a leading growth industry to help drive the digital economy of the UK in the 21st century.”

Wilson commented: “The provision of match funding for training and development in the creative industries could enhance productivity. It could also help to promote more sustainable companies, particularly if managers from small and medium-sized enterprises can draw on the funds to develop the vital business and strategic skills necessary for achieving sustained growth.”

Other measures in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement that were also welcomed by the trade bodies included a reduction in the main corporation tax to 21 per cent by April 2014 and the UKTI fund to the increased to 25 per cent.