For those of you not in the know about British politics, the Chancellor to the Labour Party, Alistair Darling (that’s the guy who controls all the money), has today announced the budget for 2010. Alongside a raft of half measures to cut our one trillion pound deficit (the government will borrow less than we expected this year, down from the £178 billion we expected- hurrah!) he has also announced, and acknowledge that:
“the creative industries, including the video games industry, make a valuable economic and cultural contribution to the UK. Following consultation on design, it (being the UK) will introduce a tax relief for the UK’s video games industry, subject to state aid approval from the European Commission.”
Sadly the budget proposal does not go into detail on how this will be achieved, or specifically what bearing the EU Commission has on it becoming a reality (no doubt Mr. Darling expects them to pay for it all) however it must surely be a good move to acknowledge the industry within the UK so publicly. Perhaps this will be the financial catalyst the games industry within the UK has needed for quite some time, as opposed to seeing developers hopping across the pond to Canada and their luxurious incentives.
For an industry worth £4 billion pounds in the UK, there is little wonder Mr. Darling is desperate to encourage more of it. We need all the money we can get.
You can view the Supporting Business and Growth budget report here, and can find the Chancellors sentiments under point 4.33