Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Business
19 March 2012updated 07 Sep 2021 10:50am

Just one thing: introduce a games tax relief

Tiga Games tells George Osborne what it would like to see in the budget.

By Richard Wilson

“If Osborne does one thing, it would be to introduce a Games Tax Relief for the UK video games development sector in order to provide a powerful stimulus to the sector and so support the wider economic recovery. The UK video games development sector provides high skilled employment in an R&D intensive, export oriented industry. 95 per cent of UK developers export at least some of their games.  The UK video games sector has great potential and the global market for video games is growing.

A Games Tax Relief will improve access to finance, attract inward investment, stem the brain drain of talented staff which is currently affecting the industry and  significantly expand the venture capital market for games companies. TIGA has carried out research into a Games Tax Relief. This predicts that over 5 years Games Tax Relief would generate and safeguard: over 4,660 jobs (equivalent to around half of the existing workforce in the games development sector); £188 million in investment expenditure by studios; increase the games development sector’s contribution to UK GDP by £283 million; generate £172 million in new and protected tax receipts to HM Treasury, and could cost just £96 million over five years. Games Tax Relief would more than pay for itself. It would also enable UK developers to compete on a more even playing field against government backed developers in other countries: the Governments of our principal competitors in Canada, France, Singapore and the USA all receive national or regional/state tax breaks for games production. In the absence of Games Tax Relief, the UK games industry is not competing on a level playing and we are losing out on jobs and investment. If Games Tax Relief is introduced then our industry will be able to compete effectively and make an important contribution to the economic recovery.”

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.