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Osborne cancels UK videogame tax relief [UPDATE]

Tuesday, 22nd June 2010 14:19 GMT By Joe Anderson

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Update: TIGA has issued a statement condemning the Government for its decision in today’s budget, calling it a “broken pre-election promise”.

It’s a bit lengthy, and below the original report.

Original: UK Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed that tax relief promised to the UK games industry by the previous Labour government will no longer go ahead.

During his budget speech at Westminster today, he briefly stated that the “planned tax relief for the videogames industry will be cancelled.”

Former Chancellor Alastair Darling had previously promised the games industry would receive tax relief to bring it into line with the UK film industry.

The UK games industry currently receives no tax cuts, apparently.

Thanks, GI.

Update: TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson has issued a statement condemning the Government for its decision in today’s budget meeting.

“The Coalition Government has broken pre-election pledges made by the Conservative Party and by the Liberal Democrats to support and introduce Games Tax Relief,” he said.

“Unless the Coalition Government introduces Games Tax Relief or a similar fiscal measure then the UK will forfeit millions of pounds in inward investment, jobs will be lost and we will cease to be a leading developer of video games. The UK video games industry is export oriented, high tech, highly skilled and low carbon in output. This is an industry of the future which the Government should be supporting with action, not words.

“With regards to the reduction in corporation tax, this is welcome but does not address the specific needs of the video games sector.”

“Nevertheless, the strength of our arguments, our implacable resolve and our unrelenting focus has ensured that in the run up today’s Emergency Budget, Games Tax Relief has received serious consideration at the highest levels of Government. Additionally, TIGA has created a broad coalition in favour of Games Tax Relief: the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, the Labour Party and the Scottish National Party have all previously expressed their support for Games Tax Relief. Unfortunately, the state of the public finances has prevented the introduction of Games Tax Relief. TIGA will continue to refine the case for Games Tax Relief, or a similar fiscal measure. We will work with developers and publishers to deliver this critical policy measure. We will not give up. We will also continue to campaign for a range of additional measures to ensure that the UK is the best place in the world in which to do games business.”

Jason Kingsley, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director of Rebellion Studios, said:

“TIGA has made a real impact in getting Games Tax Relief considered at the highest political level. It is hugely disappointing that the Coalition Government has decided not to introduce this tax measure, especially given the existence of tax relief for other sectors of the economy. However, TIGA will continue to lead the campaign for Games Tax Relief in the months ahead. Games Tax Relief or a similar fiscal measure is the industry’s top priority. Other policy issues are entirely secondary. We need a tax environment which allows UK games businesses to compete on a level footing with our overseas competitors.”

Gareth Edmondson, TIGA Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Ubisoft Reflections, said:

“The Government has missed an opportunity by not providing for Games Tax Relief in the Budget. However, TIGA’s campaign for Games Tax Relief has raised awareness about the video games industry in Government and in Parliament. The medium-term prospects for Games Tax Relief are positive. TIGA will continue to strive to make the UK the best place to do games business.”

Expect more back and forth for a while yet, we reckon.

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38 Comments

  1. Robo_1

    Horribly short sighted in my opinion. I can understand the need for cut backs, but a fairer way forward would have been an across the board dip in tax relief for all industries which qualify for it, and not the continued snubbing of the video game industry.

    Who can blame so many publishers for upping sticks and setting up shop in Canada instead of suffering the UK’s high taxes.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Bulk Slash

    Hardly surprising, Labour knew they weren’t getting back in so they spent everything and made promises they knew couldn’t be kept. Thank goodness they’re not still running things.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. varsas

    What an idiotic move by the Conservatives and a bad day for the UK games industry.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. freedoms_stain

    Gaming isn’t a Conservative concern.

    Tories don’t game therefore they don’t give a shit.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. mington

    you should use this picture
    http://tothecommons.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/article-1021078-013af34900000578-916_468x286_popup1.jpg

    #5 4 years ago
  6. StolenGlory

    Surely stimulating our creative industries is the way forward to clawing back that deficit anyway?

    #6 4 years ago
  7. AHA-Lambda

    @5 – yeah please use that pic PLEASE!

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Zarckan

    So who’s coming to Canada with me?!

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt

    Done.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. mington

    \o/

    #10 4 years ago
  11. mington

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnBLAcC2DOw

    #11 4 years ago
  12. The Hindle

    Dam left wing politicians insisting on murdering the British spirit :(

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Eregol

    This was by far the most disappointing thing in the budget in my opinion.
    All the talk of helping businesses and helping the economy and they go and do this.
    If you help businesses they will help your economy. More companies would come here, there’d be more start ups in the UK, more jobs etc etc.
    This is the one thing that they just don’t get.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Bulk Slash

    Yeah they should close some hospitals instead of cancelling the tax cut for games developers. It’s only £1.3 trillion they need to sort out.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. cookiejar

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5wWXJo9MDw

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Dannybuoy

    We miss you Labour :-(

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Mike

    I love Tory voters. Everything positive the Tories do is because the Tories are great, every shitty thing they do is Labour’s fault.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Gheritt White

    @12: The Tories are right-wingers, as it happens.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. freedoms_stain

    @14, the point is that by giving a small tax break to support the industry now the government should see a bigger return because the industry should be able to output more high quality games, the sales of which see all sorts of tax go to where?

    #19 4 years ago
  20. The Hindle

    @18 ahh either way there is a phrase regarding politicians that goes like this They all piss in the same pot

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Mike

    The Tories are just going to use the financial crisis to promote their own core party political values because they’re slimy and insipid and only have their own interests at heart at not the nation’s.

    :)

    #21 4 years ago
  22. The Hindle

    :D couldnt have said it better myself Mike.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. varsas

    @Bulk_Slash: If that’s your feeling I guess you’d be all for removing the relief for the Film industry and for that to die out in the UK?

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Gheritt White

    We still have a film industry? :/

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Eregol

    Believe it or not yes.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. The Hindle

    This country really is a shambles anyone else agree?

    #26 4 years ago
  27. mington

    I’ve conquered worse

    #27 4 years ago
  28. Eregol

    Could be worse.
    We could be North Korea.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Bulk Slash

    @varsas

    Labour did that years ago, that’s why the Bond films are filmed overseas now, as were the Star Wars prequels.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. mington

    WAIT! star wars wasn’t filmed in space?

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Eregol

    @29
    Wrong
    The film industry tax relief is still alive and well.

    EDIT: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/films/
    Boom

    #31 4 years ago
  32. varsas

    @Bulk Slash: I don’t think that’s true as noted in the article; the tax relief for the gaming industry was to bring it in line with the film industry. Additionally: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/films/

    #32 4 years ago
  33. Eregol

    Echo echo echo echo

    #33 4 years ago
  34. Petulant Radish

    Yes but it’s much harder to remove things that have been in place for some time compared to reneging on the former governments promises. It’s not just the games industry, there will be many, many more cuts. They also blocked the £80million grant to Sheffield Forgemasters, effectively wiping out a large slice of the UK’s steel industry, I don’t see too many of you complaining about that with such indignity either!

    #34 4 years ago
  35. Eregol

    Because this is a gaming site.
    I might head over to the steel industry forums to vent my rage later.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. Petulant Radish

    Good man, it’s only fair. Watch out for the bronze fanboys trolling the forums though, they’re batshit insane.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. Bulk Slash

    @31

    Ah they’ve changed it, this is what used to be in effect: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/films/reforms.htm

    If your film wasn’t culturally British you wouldn’t get funding, even James Bond didn’t count because most of it was set in overseas countries!

    #37 4 years ago
  38. NinjaMidget

    @30 yes…of course it was filmed in space…

    santa is also very real!!!

    and boo for this tax relief going down the toilet, i don’t want to have to move to canada!

    #38 4 years ago

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