UK government to reject tax breaks for games

Written by Joe Martin

December 9, 2009 // 11:17 a.m.

Tags: #break #industry #labour #petition #tax #uk-government-to-reject-tax-breaks-for-games

Alistair Darling is expected to reject requests for tax breaks for the UK games industry on behalf of the UK government later today despite strong petitioning from trade groups like TIGA, according to reports from The Guardian.

The move, while not official yet, is already drawing strong criticism from UK-based developers and trade groups who believe that the games industry is a critical part of the economy and should be encouraged as much as possible.

Comparisons have also been drawn between the UK games industry and the UK film business, the latter of which receives plenty of state support even though the UK games industry apparently brings in more money.

"If it is right to provide tax relief for the UK film industry then it is also right to provide tax relief for the UK videogames sector," said TIGA's Richard Wilson, who presented a petition for tax breaks to the government earlier this week.

"The introduction of a Games Tax Relief would increase employment, investment and enable British videogame developers to better compete against those countries which have sort to attract this growing sector using tax incentives.

"If the UK intends to capitalise on this modern industry and echo the success of the UK film industry then I urge the Government to introduce a Games Tax Relief as a matter of urgency."

As GI.biz points out, the government has already spent an estimated £850 billion of taxpayer's money bailing out banks like RBS and invested £10 million in opening two 'Centres of Excellence' earlier this week. The UK national debt currently sits at £800 billion, with £175 billion expected to be added on by the end of the year.

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