TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, welcomed the Government’s plans for education and R&D, and commitment to support the UK’s world-leading creative industries. However, TIGA renewed its call for an increase in the rate of Video Games Tax Relief from 25 per cent to 32 per cent and the introduction of a Video Games Investment Fund. TIGA made the comments following the Chancellor of the Exchequer the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak’s delivery of today’s Budget and Spending Review.
The key aspects of today’s Budget and Spending Review are set out below.
School education – SR21 confirms an additional £4.7 billion by 2024-25 for the core schools budget in England, over and above the SR19 settlement for schools in 2022-23. This is broadly equivalent to a cash increase of over £1,500 per pupil by 2024-25 compared to 2019-20.
Further education – An additional £1.6 billion by 2024-25 for 16-19 year-olds’ education in England which maintains current funding rates in real terms per student. The provision of £2.8 billion in capital investment which includes a commitment to deliver 20 Institutes of Technology across England.
Increasing R&D – The Government is increasing public R&D investment to record levels, providing £20 billion across the UK by 2024-25, including funding for EU programmes, to cement the UK as a global science and technology superpower. UK R&D support as a proportion of GDP is forecast to increase from 0.7 per cent in 2018 to 1.1 in 2024-25 which is above the latest OECD average of 0.7 per cent.
Reforming R&D tax credits – The Government will expand qualifying expenditure to include data and cloud computing costs, as TIGA called for in its Budget submission.
High-skilled Migration – – The Government is implementing changes to the UK’s immigration system to attract highly-skilled people to the UK. This includes a new Scale-up Visa, launching in Spring 2022. Visas will be open to applicants who pass the language proficiency requirement and have a high-skilled job offer from an eligible business with a salary of at least £33,000. The High Potential Individual and Global Business Mobility visas that the Government has previously announced will also launch in Spring 2022.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said:
“As the innovative and world-leading UK video games industry depends on a high-skilled workforce, TIGA welcomes measures including investment in educations and increases in the level of R&D spending. To safeguard the future supply of high-skilled workers, Government should also continue funding BTECs and introduce a Skills Investment Fund to help equip people with the skills employers need.
“The expansion of qualifying expenditure in R&D Tax Credits to include data and cloud computing costs is a very positive development and a reform that TIGA has called for, but the Government should also aim to increase the rate of Video Games Tax Relief from 25% to 32%. This would create nearly 1,500 additional skilled development jobs and over 2,700 additional indirect staff by 2025.
“The Government should also introduce TIGA’s Video Games Investment Fund (VGIF), which would provide pound-for-pound matched funding, up to a maximum of £500,000, for original game projects. The VGIF would create over 1,200 skilled development jobs and indirect jobs by 2025 and increase studios’ investment by £78 million.”
TIGA is the trade association for the UK video games industry. Our vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to develop video games. Our core purpose is to strengthen the games development and digital publishing sector. To this end, we focus on four strategic objectives:
- influencing Government policy via effective political representation;
- raising the profile of our industry to influence public policy;
- enhancing education and skills through our accreditation programme (https://tiga.org/education/tiga-university-accreditation) and TIGA Games Education Awards (https://tiga.org/education-awards); and
- promoting best practice through our membership services, including the TIGA STAR Employer Award (https://tiga.org/star) and the TIGA Games Industry Awards (https://tiga.org/awards).
For more information contact TIGA: