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TIGA: 1700 industry jobs in UK will be lost

TIGA: 1700 industry jobs in UK will be lost

According to TIGA, more than 1700 UK jobs are at risk of being lost unless tax breaks are given to developers.

Richard Wilson, CEO of the European trade organisation for games developers TIGA, has written an open letter to the UK government claiming that, unless tax breaks are provided for companies based out of England, more than 1700 jobs will be lost over the next five years.

TIGA is a group which represents the commercial interests of game developers and publishers across Europe. The organisation has long been lobbying for tax breaks for UK-based developers, backed by a vast majority of members who increasingly see jobs being lost overseas to places where tax breaks are already given to games companies, as they are to film studios.

In his open letter to government, Richard Wilson outlines exactly why he thinks the games industry is in dire need of support and why the industry is so important to the UK economy. You can read the whole thing over at VG247.

In the letter Wilson points out that the UK film industry already gets plenty of governmental support, despite not having as much income per worker.

"In 2007, the UK games production sector grossed £1.24 billion, equating to £124,000 per worker," wrote Wilson. "The UK film production industry grossed £1.65 billion, equating to £49.253 per worker. Salaries in the games industry typically exceed £30,000 per annum, above the national average. The industry is export oriented, with on average 46% of developers’ turnover generated from the export of games."

Wilson believes that if the industry was given a 20 percent production tax credit then, rather than losing 1700 jobs, 1600 jobs could actually be created over the coming five year period.

Do you think the games industry deserves tax breaks, or should the government be focusing attention elsewhere? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

5 Comments

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lewchenko 12th March 2009, 13:19 Quote
This government seems quite happy for just about any skilled job to be removed from the UK and placed in more advantageous locations. Whilst its a noble cause, and the argument stands up to direct comparison with the film industry, I have zero faith in this government to make the correct decision when economics are involved. Even more so now Mandelson is our unelected business representative. He has shown so far that the last thing he cares about is UK workers. And as for Gordon Brown... it beggars belief how this unelected leader is still in power.
pdf27 12th March 2009, 13:27 Quote
In the grand scheme of things, that isn't actually very many jobs, and the fraction of turnover from export isn't particularly high either. As an example, the engineering company I work for probably export around 90% of production, and are likely to be shedding well over 300 jobs (many of them very highly skilled) in the near future, in addition to having been working a 4 day week for some time.
Additionally, the skills are almost impossible to reconstitute once they're gone - something that frankly does not apply to programming computer games. And we're just a medium sized engineering company, which which the UK is overrun - and all our suppliers & customers are suffering just as badly.

Given all that, what is so special about computer games software which entitles them to a tax break?
Blademrk 12th March 2009, 13:36 Quote
Waiting for the first "I don't Believe it" quote.

...wait, that was it wasn't it?

I think the government doesn't really know what it's doing at this point. They should have stepped in years ago when jobs first started going abroad.
Menon01 23rd March 2009, 07:33 Quote
The two principles of TIGA are

* To interface with Government departments and Ministers on all issues that affect the overall wellbeing of the sector - Tiga has relations with BERR, Treasury, Inland Revenue, UKTI, DCMS, DIUS, and the Home Office; we encourage a strong partnership between government and industry, and

* To develop economic development strategies for the sector that make the UK the place of choice to do 'games' business.

Solihull jobs
naokaji 23rd March 2009, 07:42 Quote
Bail outs are not free, so they have to increase the taxes to get the money back.

Due to high taxes companies move jobs to *insert 3rd world country of choice*.

So either way, we are doomed.
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