Today was budget day in the UK. The chancellor abolished the plans of the last government to bring in some vague idea of subsidies for UK game developers working on ‘culturally british’ games.

Instead, amongst other things, he reduced the rate of company tax by 1% from next year.

I’m pleased. Even if my games were clearly ‘culturally british’, I’d have to have applied for the subsidy, no doubt by filling out forms that would take days, then probably have to meet someone and pitch for the subsidy, involving me travelling, then debating and arguing, and hoping that some stuffy civil servant in a suit doesnt assume I’m some dody shyster just because I wear jeans and work from home. I bet I’d never have earned a penny from it, although administering the system would doubtless have kept a few civil servants busy.

On the other hand, cutting taxes for all businesses, just makes Positech games 1% more competitive automatically, without any effort involved by anyone. It’s the smarter move, in my opinion. This seems to be a minority view, there is much gnashing of teeth by ‘industry spokespeople’. I’m surprised anyone thought that a pre-election promise to cut taxes would be honored by a different government.

I got retreating working in the campaign today (yay!)

I painted the bathroom door! (yay!)

I paid my years company tax bill today. Even though the online payment system was broken so I had to mail a check. (boo!)

7 Responses to ““Tough on the causes of space battles””

  1. Subsidies for “culturally British games” – what a strange idea that was.

    It’s an interesting thing to think about, though, seeing as you know exactly what someone’s talking about if they refer to “culturally British FILMS”. (Which, of course, do often still get Government funding.)

    Or take comic books. I’d argue that Judge Dredd is very “culturally British”, even though the character and his setting are future-American. Good luck persuading a subsidy board about THAT, though.

    The early GTA games are clearly more British than USAnian. What about “Lemmings” (from the same company, DMA-before-they-became-Rockstar), though?

    And a lot of games are very abstract. I wonder where the “Worms” series would fall? Would you have passed the test just because that one worm on your side said “Oi! Nutter!” when you damaged him?

    I suppose if you missed out on government funding for your game you could always try for government funding for your study of The Mutability of National Identity in Computer Entertainment.

  2. Alex McLarty says:

    Worms have…british accents?

  3. Michael says:

    He saved you 1% in tax and then charged you an extra 2.5% in VAT to sell your games.

  4. cliffski says:

    yup, but only to people in the UK. Most of my buyers are in the US or elsewhere :D

  5. I’m not a fan of letting the government pick winners & losers in business anyway. Your time is better spent serving your actual customers. Too bad about the VAT though.

  6. Galactic Hunter says:

    Having been in your business Cliffski, I could not agree more that the cut in rate is MUCH better than any ‘pick and choose’ subsidy/grant scheme. They are always too much bother and too little gain, except for a few who game the system.

    And upping the VAT is also not too bad. Better than upping the income tax rate anyway.

  7. […] don’t think I can make the counter-argument any better than Cliffski from Positech, the indie developer of Gratuitous Space Battles. “Today was budget day in the UK. […]