In a series of Parliamentary Questions, the Government has committed to supporting growth in the video games industry. The Government recognised the economic, cultural and social benefits of the video games industry. Diedre Brock MP asked the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department of Education if they could make an assessment of the merits of TIGA’s proposals for a Video Games Investment Fund and Industrial Secondment Scheme. While ministers did not commit to either scheme, the Government stated it would continue to support the sector.
Matt Western MP also asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidance his Department issues on the liability to corporation tax of the video games expenditure credit.
Please find the PQs and answers below.
Written Parliamentary Question (180414)
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
24 April 2023
Deidre Brock MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the proposal by the Independent Game Developers’ Association to introduce a Video Games Investment Fund. (180414)
Julia Lopez MP: The Government is committed to supporting the growth of the UK’s games sector. As part of a wider package to support the growth of the creative industries, the Government has expanded the UK Games Fund with over £8 million investment over three years starting in April 2022. The Government recognises the high potential of UK games companies and the UK Games Fund will continue to provide targeted support to early-stage games development and talented graduates throughout the UK. In addition, the Video Games Tax Relief continues to make the UK one of the leading destinations in the world for making video games.
While we are not taking forward the proposal on the Video Games Investment Fund at this point in time, we welcome continued discussions with the games industry on how best to support a thriving UK games sector.
Teachers: Work Experience
Department for Education
24 April 2023
Deidre Brock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the article by the Independent Game Developers’ Association entitled TIGA Launches Proposal for an Industrial Secondment Programme, published on 25 January 2023, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing an industrial secondment scheme for video games lecturers.
Robert Halfon: The government is committed to supporting the growth of the UK’s video games sector which brings economic, cultural and social benefits across the UK.
Through the Strategic Priorities Grant, the department is providing funding on an annual basis to support teaching and students in higher education, including expensive to deliver subjects, such as computer game and computer game design degrees, in addition to science and engineering more widely. The department is investing an additional £750 million over the three-year period from 2022/23 to 2024/25 to support high quality teaching and facilities, including in science and engineering. This includes £450 million in capital funding to invest in teaching and learning facilities.
We are also increasing the level of overall investment in the further education (FE) and skills sector, worth £3.8 billion over the course of this parliament.
It is important that lecturers enhance their teaching skills and keep their practical knowledge of game development current. The Skills for Jobs White Paper introduces a ‘Workforce Industry Exchange’ policy commitment to ensure that FE teachers have the relevant industry experience to make sure that young people are being taught the skills that employers need. This will help support the sector by encouraging collaboration with industry staff teaching FE provision and upskilling existing teachers with relevant industry skills. This will allow staff to continuously develop their professionalism and insight and ensure that FE is able to adapt to the needs of a changing economy.
To facilitate this we are working with business leaders to develop resources supporting knowledge exchange and detailing how employers can get involved in FE learning. We are keen to create a pipeline of talented individuals from industry who can teach the next generation in FE and to support industry to upskill existing teachers in the latest practices and innovations in their sector.
Video Games: Tax Allowances
24 April 2023
Matt Western: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what guidance his Department issues on the liability to corporation tax of the video games expenditure credit.
Victoria Atkins: The government will set out the detail of the Video Games Expenditure Credit (VGEC) alongside draft legislation in Summer 2023 and welcomes feedback. After this is published, the government will provide thorough guidance and education about how VGEC will work.
It was announced at Spring Budget 2023 that VGEC will be introduced from 1 January 2024. VGEC will be calculated directly from qualifying expenditure and have a credit rate of 34%, which will provide a greater benefit than the current Video Games Tax Relief. The expenditure credit model will also provide businesses with greater clarity about the amount of credit they can expect to receive and greater flexibility over production decisions. In addition, this reform will ensure video games tax relief continues to work as intended following the implementation of the OECD ‘Pillar 2’ rules in the UK and elsewhere.
VGEC will be modelled after the R&D Expenditure Credit (RDEC). The credit will be liable to Corporation Tax, like RDEC, and this was taken into account when the credit rate was set at 34%.