Vaizey to review games tax relief

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The Independent Online

The body representing the UK's video-games industry has vowed to fight on for a tax break as Ed Vaizey, the minister for culture, committed to reviewing its proposals.

Tiga was dismayed that George Osborne's emergency Budget pulled out of offering tax relief to the games industry, which would have brought it in line with the UK's film sector.

Richard Wilson, chief executive of Tiga, said: "We were pleased Mr Vaizey turned up and listened to our concerns. The lack of a tax break is still worrying." The association has estimated that the 9,000-strong workforce could shrink to 7,000 without support from the government, as countries such as Canada offer better tax regimes. Tiga accused the Government of breaking pre-election promises by abandoning the tax relief.

Mr Vaizey reaffirmed the Government's support for the industry at the Develop video games conference in Brighton yesterday, and said he welcomed moves to work with Tiga, as well as fellow industry body ELSPA, "to review tax support for the games sector". He said: "Government recognises the difficult challenges faced by the UK video-games industry in the wake of a new economic climate. It is an industry that has real potential to create the high-quality jobs of the future that will be so important as we recover from the recession."

Tiga estimated that spending £192m on tax breaks over five years would bring £415m in tax receipts.