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Tax Aid Is Make or Break Issue for UK Games Industry, Says Trade Body

| 26 Jan 2011 18:32
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Trade body TIGA says that no one is benefiting from the lack of tax breaks for the UK videogame industry.

If the UK Government doesn't start supporting the videogame industry, hundreds of jobs could disappear within five years. That's according to TIGA, following its submission of an 85-page appeal to the Coalition government, once again asking for tax breaks.

TIGA CEO Richard Wilson said if the UK government was really hoping to revitalize the economy, then encouraging growth in the videogame sector would be an excellent way to do it. He said that the government clearly understood the value of "cultural" tax breaks, as it had granted them to the UK film industry. A similar initiative for the videogame industry would create more jobs, Wilson said, as well as boost investment and generate tax revenue.

TIGA predicts that its proposal will generate over 1,300 new jobs in development roles, as well as nearly 2,500 "indirect jobs." Tax revenues would be in the region of £126 million, and the contribution to GDP would be around £307 million. Conversely, if the government rejected the proposal, Wilson warned that there was a very real risk that jobs and investment could be lost. The current number of jobs in the industry - nearly 3,500 - has apparently shrunk by 9% since TIGA first put forward its original proposal in 2008. Wilson said that that number could go down by a further 25% by 2015, if the government didn't intercede.

Unfortunately, with debts stretching into the billions, the UK government may have no other choice than to risk losing those jobs, as TIGA's scheme will cost money that it simply doesn't have. The Coalition has commented in the past that it would rather encourage overall growth with initiatives like a reduction in corporation tax, rather than single out one particular industry.

Source: Games Industry

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