TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, has submitted its economic recommendations to the Chancellor, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, ahead of his economic update on Wednesday 8 July 2020.
TIGA’s recommendations include:
- Strengthening Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR), by increasing the rate of relief from 25 per cent to 30 per cent. This could encourage additional foreign direct investment into the UK and would encourage further investment and job creation on the part of studios already based in the UK. Research commissioned by TIGA suggests that a 5 per cent increase in VGTR would result in £95 million in new development expenditure and £86 million in new tax receipts.
- Introducing a Video Games Investment Fund. This would enhance studios’ access to finance, promote the development of original IP and encourage studio growth. The VGIF could provide funding of between £75,000 and £500,000 to games developers nationwide. Previous research commissioned by TIGA shows that the VGIF would cost of £26.5 million over 5 years and would: create 1,500 jobs and 2,700 indirect jobs; encourage an additional £200 million in development expenditure; and contribute an additional £197 million in tax revenues.
- Retaining and enhancing the UK Games Fund.
- Consider incentivising training, particularly in small firms, by establishing a scheme which would provide Government match funding for workforce development.
- Reforming the Apprenticeship Levy into a more general training levy, allowing employers to choose the right quality training programme to benefit their businesses and employees.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said:
“The video games sector provides high skilled employment, supports economic growth in clusters throughout the UK, is export focused and is relatively resilient to Coronavirus engendered lockdowns. The UK Government should continue to support this important industry of the future to help drive the economic recovery.”