Don Foster MP

Don Foster MP - 20/267 - Bath's #1 Supporter

Games industry can help economy to bounce back

Don recently published a blog post on Wired.co.uk explaining how the games industry can help boost the UK economy.

You can see the original article here at https://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-06/07/ideas-bank-don-foster

Activision Blizzard’s decision to setup a new studio in the UK should be seen as a coup for the UK video games and the economy at large. The Coalition Government’s decision to introduce a tax credit for video games development, animation and high end TV production in the March Budget will help to create the conditions to attract further inward investment into our creative industries.

The games tax relief is a chance to create a level playing field for UK developers and it could be the stimulus for growth that would give our economy the sort of bounce that is required to make an immediate impact on people’s confidence and expectations. Exciting, dynamic industries can create a ripple effect on other industries that are inspired by its successes. The UK games industry has the potential to do this, given the right working conditions and investment.

UK games industry association TIGA has estimated that over a five year period, the games tax relief would generate and safeguard over 4,660 jobs; £188 million in investment expenditure by studios; increase the games development sector’s contribution to UK GDP by £283 million; generate £172 million in new and protected tax receipts to HM Treasury, and could cost just £96 million.

These are figures worth fighting for and TIGA, which was the critical organisation in the campaign for a UK games industry tax break, is right when it says we need look no further than the impact that a similar tax break had on the UK film industry.

After the introduction of tax breaks in 1997, the UK film industry experienced a massive 30 percent increase in its workforce equating to about 10,000 new jobs. Once in serious decline, the UK film industry recovered and matured into a globally well-respected business which now makes a £4bn contribution to the economy.

Supporting creative industries where there is potential for growth and providing a platform on which they can compete and hopefully flourish makes common sense for Government. Many of the creative companies work in new emerging economies and with leading edge technology. They feed into and feed off of many different industries that touch an even wider group of workers and businesses. We have to get behind these new economies, these new opportunities.

On a final note it is important to consider the fact that the UK has a games history. Activision recognised this when it decided to open a studio here. There are development skills in the UK despite the brain drain of 2009-11. There is a culture here of innovation and creativity that has generated some big games titles in the past few years including the Grand Theft Auto series, Little Big Planet, Runescape, Buzz, the Harry Potter series — I could go on. Game development is popular here with 56 universities already providing 141 video games specialist courses throughout the UK. It makes business sense to be here now and hopefully Activision’s decision will convince the critics and inspire the investors and entrepreneurs.

 

 

Don signs EDM 92 on Forced Child Adoption

June 20, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Early Day Motions

This week Don signed an EDM to recognise the suffering and trauma that forced child adoption caused. This also recognises the lack of provision made for unmarried mothers by previous Governments.

Below is the text of the EDM:

That this House recognises the suffering that forced child adoptions during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s caused, which took place due to social pressures on women who had children outside of marriage; notes the unacceptable adoption and care practices of the past, such as not giving information about welfare services including housing and financial help which were available at the time and not questioning whether women putting their children up for adoption had given informed consent; further recognises the negligence of previous Governments, with regard to ensuring that the care provided for unmarried mothers was appropriate and that they and their children were not mistreated or discriminated against, resulting in many women suffering traumatising pre and post-natal experiences and children being denied contact with their birth parents; and calls on the Government to apologise in order to go some way toward helping the parents and children who were victims of these practices.

Don signs EDM 201 - Support for Community Sports Clubs and the CASC Scheme

June 20, 2023 by Don Foster MP in Early Day Motions

Don has signed EDM 201 welcoming the work of the Community Amateur Sports Club, which has increased its membership of registered clubs. This supports the participation of more people in amateur sport.

Below is the text of the EDM:

That this House congratulates the Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) scheme on its success in registering 6202 clubs; welcomes the financial benefits of the CASC scheme particularly in terms of rate relief and Gift Aid in this difficult economic climate; recognises the central role of CASC-registered clubs in growing and sustaining participation in community sports clubs nationwide; notes the role that community sport plays within the legacy for the 2012 Games; and urges the Government to continue to support the scheme in order for a greater number of clubs to benefit and for community sport to thrive during this memorable year for sport.