Develop reports on Australia’s tax relief scheme:
That breakthrough scheme sets aside $1.9 billion for digital creative companies across the country.
Good for Australia, except… well, it’s not a tax credit for “digital creative companies” at all (and it’s also not $1.9 billion). It’s a pure R&D tax credit, according to the Australian’s Innovation Ministry:
The Gillard Labor Government’s $1.8 billion R&D Tax Credit will deliver more funding to innovative firms – including manufacturers, ICT and biotech.
From what I’ve read, this scheme for Australia sounds almost identical to the scheme we already have here in the UK. It’s not just some magical pot of gold that pours money into the bank accounts of games companies (or indeed, any company). That’s what the “credit” part in the names of these schemes means.
Meanwhile, Tony Reed, CEO of the Game Developers Association of Australia, says:
Our goal at the GDAA is to prepare Australia to become one of the top three territories in the world for game development within the next five years. I think this can be achieved.
I’m sure he does. I believe that the UK can achieve the same. What I don’t believe is that a tax credit scheme, however designed, is the singular basis on which that achievement will be made.