The manifesto has three key strategic themes:
A favourable tax regime that encourages growth and investment;
Improving access to finance for digital start-ups;
Reducing skills shortages within the industry.
TIGA’s ambition is for the UK video games industry to continue to grow strongly over the next four years. Calculations by Games Investor Consulting measuring the impact of TIGA’s Manifesto proposals show that significant growth is possible.
TIGA’s Manifesto Proposals for the 2019 General Election:
Retain and improve both Video Games Tax Relief (by increasing the rate of Relief to 27.5 or 30 per cent) and the Research and Development Tax Credits to ensure that the UK has one of the most favourable tax regimes for the video games industry in the world.
Introduce a Video Games Investment Fund to provide pound for pound match funding, up to a maximum of £500,000, for original IP game projects to improve games businesses’ ability to access finance.
Enable UK games companies to recruit highly skilled workers (Tier 1 and Tier 2 workers) from the EU and the wider world by: (a) maintaining the Shortage Occupation List (SOL); (b) introducing a fast-track 14 day SOL Visa; (c) refraining from increasing the Tier 2 salary threshold to £30,000; and (d) providing that the top three criteria under a future points based migration system are ‘work experience’, ‘having a job offer’ and ‘language proficiency’.
Strengthen high technology video games clusters around the UK, for example, by improving infrastructure, internet speeds, reduced business rates, providing incubators and cementing industry-education links.
Encourage skills and training by: reforming the Apprenticeship Levy into a Training Levy, thereby enabling employers to invest in any high quality training programme and not just apprenticeships; and introducing a Skills Investment Fund to provide pound for pound match funding.
Ensure that the proposed regulatory framework set out in the Online Harms White Paper, which includes plans to establish a new statutory ‘Duty of Care’ to make companies take more responsibility for the safety of their users, protects online users whilst ensuring that the UK is the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business. Any new regulations should be proportionate in nature.
Strengthen higher education by making up any short-fall in funding following the UK’s departure from the EU and by ensuring that any new visa system governing migration from the EU does not impair the ability of UK universities to recruit either academic staff or students from the EU. Ensure there are no barriers to research collaborations and funding opportunities following a departure from the EU.
When negotiating a UK-EU trade deal, avoid quotas, tariffs and other barriers to trade. A future UK-EU trade deal must ensure the free flow of personal data from the EU to the UK and vice versa so that UK games companies can continue to communicate easily with their EU consumers. Free trade in video games already exists and this should be maintained.
“TIGA’s 2019 General Election Manifesto sets out a clear, cogent and concise policy agenda for
reinforcing our successful video games industry.
“It is crucially important to support those industries where the UK already has a competitive
advantage, which provide high skilled employment and which are export focused. The UK video
games sector is one such industry. Our sector already has a critical mass of talent, with 14,350
skilled development staff employed in over 800 companies, supported by a world class higher
“If we can provide a competitive tax regime, improve access to finance, and deepen our talent
pool while retaining the ability to recruit highly skilled overseas workers, then the UK video games
industry has the potential to grow significantly. We look forward to working with the new
Parliament and Government that is elected on 12 December to advance our vision.”