UK Budget 2012: Video games sector gets tax relief

Gaming, Tech Digest news

george-osborne.jpgUK games developers can breathe a little easier today, as Chancellor George Osborne’s 2012 Budget will reintroduce tax relief for the UK video games industry.

Also offering tax relief to animation and television programming production sectors, the move sees the coalition government reinstate plans originally drawn up by the Labour government’s March 2010 budget, before being withdrawn by the coalition government’s first budget in June 2010.

Ian Livingstone, president and CEO of games publishers Eidos Interactive, took to his Twitter account to to give praise to the budget announcements, though stressing that its benefits are long overdue:

“London Buses for the games industry. Nothing for years then computer science at school, high-speed broadband and tax breaks all come at once.”

The positive feelings were shared by TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson, whose trade association has campaigned for many years for tax relief for UK games developers:

“This is a brilliant decision by the government and terrific news for the UK video games industry. This victory will benefit not just the UK games development and digital publishing sector but also the wider UK economy.

“Our research shows that Games Tax Relief should generate and safeguard: 4,661 direct and indirect jobs; £188 million in investment expenditure by studios; increase the games development sector’s contribution to UK GDP by £283 million; generate £172 million in new and protected tax receipts to HM Treasury, and could cost just £96 million over five years.

“Tax breaks for games production will ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of video game development.”

Long overdue considering the games development talent the UK produces, here’s hoping that we’ll now see fewer talented individuals in the sector leave our shores to head abroad for more lucrative work.

Image via: The Prime Minister’s Office

Gerald Lynch
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