TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, said today that while it was good to see the economy return to growth in the first quarter of 2011, the Coalition Government needed to do more to encourage economic growth.
The estimate, released by the Office of National Statistics, showed that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had chalked up a disappointing rate of growth in the first quarter of the year following an unexpected drop of 0.5 per cent in the final, weather-hit quarter of 2010. The statistics are significantly lower than the Office for Budget Responsibility prediction that the economy would grow by 0.8 per cent in the quarter.
Dr. Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, commented:
“The disappointing growth figures reinforce the need for the Coalition Government to pursue measures to help stimulate economic growth in the UK. In the games industry, tax breaks for key overseas competitors over the last decade have created an increasingly uneven playing field. Global software sales grew by 16 per cent between 2008 and 2010, yet the UK games industry’s workforce declined by 9 per cent over the same period. In the absence of Games Tax Relief the UK video games industry is at a competitive disadvantage.
“76 per cent of investment in the UK games industry comes from overseas publishers. TIGA’s Games Tax Relief, a sector specific tax break for games production, would encourage inward investment, stimulate economic growth, create thousands of highly skilled jobs and raise hundreds of millions of pounds in tax receipts for HM Treasury.
“TIGA will continue to develop the case for a Games Tax Relief which promotes economic growth and the generation of new IP. TIGA will continue to encourage the Government to adopt TIGA’s Games Tax Relief and so help put the UK on the path to a sustained and robust economic recovery.””
Jason Kingsley, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director of Rebellion, said:
“In addition to looking again at Games Tax Relief, the Coalition Government should further enhance the Small Firms R&D Tax Credit. TIGA was delighted that the Government agreed with our proposal to raise the level of the R&D qualifying relief from 175 per cent to 200 per cent in last month’s Budget, and we look forward to the rate increasing to 225 per cent in 2012. The Government should now widen the scope of the R&D Tax Credit to allow games businesses (and firms in other sectors) to include rents and rates, IP protection and design costs in R&D Tax Relief claims.””
Notes to editors:
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have games publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. TIGA was awarded ‘Trade Association of the Year’ and the ‘Member Recruitment Award’ at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards 2010. TIGA has also been named as a finalist in the 2010 Chartered Management Institute (CMI) National Management and Leadership Awards in the category of ‘The Outstanding Organisation of the Year Award (SME)’. TIGA is an Investors in People organisation.
TIGA’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.
For further information, please contact Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on 07875939643: or email email@example.com; or contact David Hodges on 02070911653