'Your move, Gordon'

'Your move, Gordon'
Michael French

By Michael French

December 12th 2007 at 10:50AM

Tiga calls on industry to rally UK government for â??playfield levellingâ?? games tax break after EC approves France's rebate

UK games development trade association Tiga has said it welcomes today’s announcement by the European Commission that France can implement tax breaks for its games industry, adding that it is now the turn of UK publishers and developers to demand the same thing from their government.

In a statement, Tiga outlined the part it played in the EC’s decision over the French tax breaks, saying it “supported the French developers and government in applying for support to their industry”. The organisation also submitted documents and research to the European Commission on state aids elsewhere in the world and “argued that the Commission needed to support its own industries in the face of market-distorting state aids being applied by Canada and other territories in the world”.

Tiga maintains that the stance of Europe-wide publisher association ISFE against tax breaks is “untenable and inconsistent” as the group’s members “were among the first to take any state aids being offered in Canada and other places, but yet opposed the French government assisting developers in France”.

Now Tiga CEO Fred Hasson – also chairman of EGDF, the European games developer federation – has said it’s time for the UK industry to unite and relay to parliament and UK Prime Minster Gordon Brown the worth of having similar tax breaks to those which will soon be put in place across the Channel.

Said Hasson: “Tiga notes that the UK government did not rule out applying the same support systems to the UK at the recent public debates with Ministers, and invites UK based publishers to support us in levelling the playing field for UK development groups in the face of loosing work and staff to Canada and other territories due to state aids.”