TIGA: 1700 industry jobs in UK will be lost

Written by Joe Martin

March 12, 2009 // 11:36 a.m.

Tags: #credit-crunch #england #govenrment #industry #jobs #tax #tiga #tiga-1700-industry-jobs-in-uk-will-be-lost

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.
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