While the old, the disabled, the poor and the sick were getting slammed in the teeth and wallet this afternoon by the UK's governing Conservative government in Chancellor George Gideon Oliver Osborne's (heir apparent to the baronetcy of Ballentaylor and Ballylemon) Autumn financial statement, the UK's video game industry body Ukie was hailing a major financial "Win".
It sent out a good news press release that "welcomes the Autumn Statement as positive step for the games industry". So, why the joy?
Well despite stating up front that, "Although the full draft legislation for the new games industry tax relief scheme has not yet been revealed, the first sight of some of the detail of the proposed scheme seems positive for the games and interactive entertainment industry," Ukie does point out the following headline areas for UK industry in general and creative industries are included of course:
- Proposed rate of production tax relief set at 25% for UK games development
- Share of a £6m skills fund is to be made available to the games industry
funding to be increased by 25%
- Corporation tax to be further reduced to 21% by 2014
Frankly, this early on in the process even Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist, is aware that these initiatives may not benefit the industry at all when ironed out. She says, "This first detail of the tax relief seems a positive step for our members and the wider industry. Whilst we called for a 30% rate of relief for the scheme, Ukie was nonetheless pleased to see the rate set at 25%, giving the games sector parity with other UK creative industries.
“As soon as the full draft legislation is published we’ll be poring over the finer details to ensure that the fine tuning and implementation of the proposal is fully in line with the needs of our industry.”
For its part, the government actually says this with direct reference to the industry in its Autumn Statement (PDF
"1.133 Budget 2012 announced that the Government will introduce corporation tax reliefs from April 2013 for the video games, animation and high-end television industries, subject to state aids approval.
"Following consultation on their design, the Government will ensure that the reliefs are among the most generous in the world by offering a payable tax credit for all three reliefs worth 25 per cent of qualifying expenditure."
Let's just all be very aware of the "subject to state aids approval" line in there. But fingers crossed that people are kept in employment with revenues flowing to the UK