Game over without industry tax breaks

The UK video games development sector is an industry of the future. It is export- oriented, high-tech, employs highly skilled workers and is low carbon in output.

Yet it is under threat. Our principal competitors all receive national, regional or state tax breaks for games production. No tax breaks for games production exist in the UK. Investment and jobs are drifting away from the UK to other countries.

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, has argued for the introduction of a video games tax relief to enable the industry to compete on a level playing field. The government failed to introduce such a measure in this week's emergency Budget.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This is a mistake. TIGA's research shows that, over five years, games tax relief would generate 3,550 graduate level jobs, 457 million in investment and raise 415m in tax receipts for HM Treasury. TIGA will continue to campaign for a UK-wide games tax relief. Equally, if the Scottish Government and Parliament had greater tax powers, then TIGA would be calling on them to give a tax break for game development.

We want to enhance the video games industry in the UK, and any fiscal lever that can assist us would be welcome. It is up to voters and governments to determine where powers over corporation taxes lie within the UK.

At the same time, it is our responsibility to say that games tax relief will put the games development industry on a level playing field, powering investment, growth and job creation.



London Wall


In the Scottish Parliament on 10 June, Murdo Fraser, the Conservative health spokesman, told Nicola Sturgeon that "if the Cabinet Secretary is patient and waits for the Budget that is due in a couple of weeks, she will soon learn by how much the duty on problem drinks will increase".

In Tuesday's Budget, the Chancellor announced no change in excise duty policy from that of the previous government, except for the cancellation of the planned 10 per cent increase in cider duty.

This was to be a small step towards ending the favourable taxation arrangements for cider which have contributed to its popularity among the heaviest drinkers and the youngest drinkers in our communities.

So, far from seeing an increase in duty on problem drinks, we are seeing a reduction from previously proposed levels. A VAT rise has most effect on the wrong end of the price range.

There has been a lot of talk about alcohol price, but we urgently need some action on the price of the cheapest alcohol. Parties who oppose minimum pricing need to say which other mechanism they prefer and how and when that will be implemented.


Royal College of Psychiatrists Scottish Division

Queen Street


Hide Ad
Hide Ad

After all the hype, the "emergency Budget" was a damp squib. The Chancellor came up with a few paltry cuts: a two-year pay freeze; cuts in expenditure in some smaller government departments and reductions in child benefits.

There are to be no reductions in capital expenditure and the chronically inefficient NHS will see increases in spending.

He has caved into the demands of unions and big business and as usual it will be the little people who suffer from his VAT hike.


Crow Road