UKIE urges UK Government to speed through Games Tax Relief

UKIE urges UK Government to speed through Games Tax Relief

UK trade association UKIE has called on the UK Government to roll out the planned Games Tax Relief "as soon as possible", highlighting the boost to the economy triggered by a similar tax break for the film industry.

UKIE claims statistics released today by the BFI suggest High-end Television Tax Relief has delivered over £233 million for the UK economy in its first nine months.

The argument is Games Tax Relief – which was first unveiled by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne back in March 2012 – could boost the UK economy to a similar degree if introduced in the near future.

A matter of time

"Seeing the hard financial evidence that the production tax credits have worked for high end TV, and in such a short space of time, proves that the digital creative industries can drive exports, deliver growth and high value jobs as well as attract considerable inward investment," offered UKIE chair Andy Payne, who is also a board member of film and TV body, Film London.

"This will play a significant part in increasing the UK's productivity which is so badly needed. The games industry looks forward to the games production tax credits coming into force very soon and having a very positive effect for the UK games industry and the creative industries for UKPLC."

The Government's planned tax break for the games industry ran into trouble last year when the European Commission announced it was to conduct an "in-depth investigation" into the proposed measures, claiming it had doubts that the aid was "necessary" and may even "distort competition" at a European level.

Nevertheless, UKIE Dr. Jo Twist said that the benefits for the UK games industry are now evident.

Cultural test

"These figures show the massive benefits that tax credits could bring to the UK games industry, opening the door for big inward investment and helping small businesses to scale up," offered Twist.

"They would help the creative talent in this country to produce more and compete in a global marketplace with uniquely British or European flavoured games.

"We know that the UK Government continues to be behind the games tax relief and remain positive that they will be introduced. We urge UK Government and the European Commission to make sure that the new system is introduced as soon as possible so that UK games business can benefit in the same way that TV sector is."

Developers looking to qualify for the tax breaks will need to "pass a cultural test that highlights aspects such as European content, originality and innovation", with different tiers of qualification based on each game's development budget set to be employed.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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