2015: A Year in the Political Game
Before heading off for a holiday break, we took a look back at some of the highlights from this year of games industry engagement with government, parliament and UK politics.
We'd like to thank all of our members for their help throughout the year getting more recognition and support for our industry. None of what we do would be possible without you.
Tax Reliefs and Access to Finance come under scrutiny
Two new consultations have been announced to run into the New Year, on the issues of tax reliefs and access to finance. If you would like more information on either issue, email Andy.
Labour review of Tax Reliefs
New EU rules for sale of digital content proposed
The European Commission today revealed the first two pieces of legislation it wants to pass under its Digital Single Market project.
New rules for the sale of digital content, and changes to allow portability of content that consumers have paid for, have been proposed. A more detailed explanation is below.
Responding to the announcements, Ukie CEO Dr Jo Twist said:
What the Spending Review 2015 means for games - reforms to exports, apprenticeships, public funding and broadband
What the Spending Review 2015 means for games - reforms to exports, apprenticeships, public funding, broadband
Chancellor George Osborne published the Comprehensive Spending Review today, setting out the government's spending plans for the next three years. As expected, the Chancellor outlined substantial reductions in public sector spending but alongside those several announcements were made which are important for the games industry:
New Apprenticeship Levies and the Games Industry
Improving the number of apprenticeships in British industry is a top priority for the new government, which has set a demanding target of 3 million new apprenticeships over the next Parliament - a target which will be overseen by an specific implementation committee at the Cabinet Office.
To fund this the government proposes a new levy - a mandatory payment by businesses into a common pot which is then used to pay for shared benefits, such as in-work training and apprenticeships.
Our analysis of Labour's new frontbench team
After Jeremy Corbyn's sweeping victory on Saturday in Labour's leadership election, he has started to appoint his Shadow Cabinet. Mr Corbyn won the Leadership with 59.5% of the votes in the first round, while Tom Watson, a vocal supporter of the games industry, became the Deputy Leader with 50.7% of the vote on the third round.
Here are the new names they have appointed to other senior posts affecting the games industry:
Games in Scotland: your views to Parliament
We have submitted evidence to an inquiry by the Scottish Affairs Committee in the UK Parliament. The Committee are examining the Creative Industries in Scotland, and asked for views on what more should be done to strengthen the sector.
Games studios need smart immigration rules.
Add your voice to the #saveskilledmigration campaign
As government statistics show a rise in net migration to the UK, Ukie warns that the games industry and the tech sector as a whole could be prevented from growing and bidding for new projects as a consequence of stricter new rules hindering firms recruiting foreign talent to meet business needs.
Parliament may be in recess but there are plenty of policy consultations that we’re responding to that will have an impact on UK games businesses.
If you’ve got thoughts on any of the below please let Andy know.