UK video game industry trade group TIGA today issued a statement supporting MP Jim McGovern's call on the Creative Industries Minister to review the issue of Games Tax Relief "as a matter of priority." The MP made his comments yesterday in Parliament. McGovern raised the issue in Culture, Media and Sport questions in the Westminster Parliament with the Creative Industries Minister, Ed Vaizey MP. Obviously TIGA supports tax incentives for the videogame industry.
"I discussed future Government support for the creative industries—including the video games sector—with the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the development of the plan for growth which was published alongside Budget 2011," said Edward Vaizey. "The plan for growth sets out the specific actions that we are taking to tackle major barriers to growth in the creative industries and to create the right conditions for creative businesses to flourish."
"I do not know about high-speed broadband, but that was a high-speed answer—and I am sure that the Minister will appreciate that it is not the one I was looking for," said Jim McGovern in response to Vaizey. "He will be aware that games companies in the UK are closing and that many of their staff are going to Canada. Ireland is now looking to introduce tax breaks, but for some reason this Government persist in doing nothing. Will the Minister reassure me, the House and my constituents that the assessment of tax breaks for the industry, as recommended by the Scottish Affairs Committee, will be carried out as a matter of priority before more harm is done to this very important industry?"
"I am mindful of your desire, Mr Speaker, to crack through the Order Paper, which is why I tend to answer questions in a rapid manner," retorted Vaizey. "Let me first congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his championship of the video games industry. I know that 150 jobs have been created in the industry in his own Dundee constituency. Measures in the Budget, such as the changes to the research and development tax credit and the enterprise investment scheme, will help the video games industry. I will continue with my vocal and, I hope, practical support for that important industry."
"It’s now five months since the Scottish Affairs Committee recommended that the Government conduct a full assessment of Games Tax Relief," said Dr. Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO. "We urge the Government to carry out this review. The UK video games industry is not yet competing on a level playing field because many of our competitors have a tax credit for games production or other similar measures."
Hopefully this support can bring about some tax relief for the industry in the future.