Why Raspberry Pi isn't made in the UK

Broken UK tax system got in the way

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The £22/$35 Raspberry Pi computer has been a phenomenal success, but gaming legend and co-founder David Braben has told TechRadar that the "broken" British tax system made the entire project far harder.

The Raspberry Pi foundation has developed a super-low cost computer in the hopes of getting kids to engage more with their technology, although the concept has appealed on a much larger scale.

Speaking to TechRadar, co-founder Braben told of the huge problems that the project faced and ultimately why the device is built outside of the country.

Pi sliced

"Our tax regime is broken," said Braben. "Look at Raspberry Pi; we would have had to pay a lot more tax if we made the device in the UK, because we have to import components.

"If we build the components into a device abroad and then bring them in then there's no tax.

"That's because it's a completed device, and of course people who make many completed devices have lobbyists saying 'we want to pay less tax'. So if you are importing a PlayStation that would be no problem."

Braben feels that, as a charitable foundation, things should be done by the book – and points out that people saying that tax amounts to very little per device are not considering the overall price of Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi

"We are doing things properly and essentially it made no sense to manufacture in the UK.

"They say it's only a few dollars, but when your entire device is that low cost it's a huge percentage of the overall price."

The Raspberry Pi is currently entirely sold out, with interest in the device at amazing levels.