TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers, and trade association representing the UK videogames industry, said today that its proposals for the 2015 Budget would strengthen firms, industries and the wider UK economy. TIGA made the comments to coincide with the publication of its Budget 2015 submission.
The Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, will present the last Budget of the current Parliament on 18th March 2015.
TIGA’s submission makes seven key proposals:
- A Prototype Fund should be made available be made available to enable start-up studios to access finance and develop playable prototypes.
- A Creative Content Fund (CCF) should be established in order to encourage new studio formation, stimulate creativity, new content development and IP generation. The CCF could make loans available to games businesses on a pound for pound, matched funding basis. Both the Prototype Fund and the CCF could be financed via the National Lottery or via Innovate UK (formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board).
- The amount of money that a company can raise via SEIS investment should be increased from £150,000 to £200,000 per annum t200,000 per annum to reflect the rise in development budgets required to make internationally competitive games.
- An Export Tax Relief could be introduced to incentivise more small firms to export, thereby promoting export-led economic growth. An Export Tax Relief is currently prohibited under EU law, but the UK Government could explore the case for negotiating and securing this Relief. Alternatively, the existing R&D Tax Credits could be expanded to enable businesses to claim relief on researching and developing new export markets. A non-exhaustive list of eligible costs could include: analysis of new markets and potential barriers, analysis of tariffs, and company or branch registration costs.
- Regional/National Games Development Incubators should be established at a university or at a consortium of universities in each of the English regions and in each of the nations within the UK to enable more successful start-ups.
- A pilot Training Tax Relief (TTR) should be introduced for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). TTR would operate in a similar way to the existing R&D tax credits and would enable SMEs to offset expenditure on training, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for staff and education outreach activities against corporation tax.
- The Skills Investment Fund should be maintained to enable UK games businesses to enhance skills in the games industry.
TIGA envisages that both the Export Tax Relief or the reformed R&D Tax Credit and the SME Training Tax Relief would be accessible to small businesses in many different sectors of the UK economy. Similarly, the SEIS scheme is cross-sectoral in nature.
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said: “TIGA’s submission for the 2015 Budget sets out a range of measures to enable more businesses to succeed. Our submission also supports other sectors by incentivising training, accessing investment and stimulating exports. TIGA’s programme will help to power firms, industries and the UK economy forward.”