Games industry powers up tax credits but budget fails to level up

Amid talk of merging income tax with national insurance, cutting corporation tax on fat cats and an extra 4p on every pint, there's mixed results for Britain's video games industry.

Amid talk of merging income tax with national insurance, cutting corporation tax on fat cats and an extra 4p on every pint, there's mixed results for Britain's video games industry: Chancellor George Osborne increased government tax credits for research and development in today's budget, but failed to deliver tax breaks for the industry.

Tax credits for research and development increase by 200 per cent from April, with more increases to come in 2012. That will ease the tax burden on British games companies -- but tax breaks specifically aimed at the video games industry failed to materialise.

The previous Labour government was planning tax breaks for the gaming industry, but they've been ruled out by the new Conservative government. Gaming contributes around £1bn to the UK economy every year, with titles like Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto and Little Big Planet developed in this green and pleasant land.

The budget also named 21 Enterprise Zones, areas across the country within which businesses get perks such as tax breaks and discount access to super-fast broadband. New companies benefit from a streamlining of tax rules and more favourable rates, as well as a new body called Start-up Britain that will help entrepreneurs take the first faltering steps into the big bad world of business.

The budget also adds £100m to science funding, to be spent on developing new research facilities here in Blighty. The new facilities will give backroom boffins the backing to turn interesting research into actual money-making technology, which should help lift the economy out of the doldrums. A new technology and innovation centre will also be built.

For more gaming fun and frolics, hit start, select, up, down, back -- or just click on GameSpot UK.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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