TIGA reboots fight for game industry tax relief

The UK games industry hasn't given up on getting its cancelled tax relief plan reinstated, with trade association TIGA announcing intensified campaigning ahead of the March Budget.

Following a report in The Sunday Times that Chancellor George Osborne was once again re-examining the prospect of introducing a similar programme of tax relief for the UK games industry as is enjoyed by the UK film industry, trade association TIGA has vowed to fight to see the promised plan go ahead.

"Given the economic contraction in the last quarter of 2010, we need a Budget for growth in March. The UK video games industry can play a part in rebalancing the UK economy away from an over-dependence upon financial services and the public sector," claimed TIGA chief Dr Richard Wilson in a statement today.

"The UK game development sector provides high skilled employment, is R&D intensive and is an export-oriented industry. It is just the kind of sector that the Government should be supporting if it is serious about strengthening the economic recovery," Dr. Wilson continued.

The group claims that the introduction of a programme of tax relief would 'more than pay for itself' with around 9,500 direct and indirect jobs created or safeguarded over a five year period should the programme be introduced - resulting in a net profit to the Treasury of an estimated £200 million.

The scrapping of the government-du-jour's original plans for a tax relief programme came as a shock to the games development industry in the UK, and was followed by some high-profile closures - including Dundee-based Realtime Worlds, which folded in August with the loss of 250 jobs.

TIGA argues that the current economic climate will convince those few development houses still present in the UK to move abroad should Osborne's Budget not include the tax relief programme.