Ed Balls urges rethink on industry tax breaks
Labour leadership hopeful visits Dundee in the wake of Realtime Worlds' collapse
Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls has visited Dundee following Realtime World's administration announcement, citing the cancelled tax breaks for the UK games industry as the cause of the company's failure and offering almost unequivocal support for their reintroduction.
In a post on his personal blog, the shadow education secretary was keen to point out that the previous Labour government had recommended the tax breaks before they were axed by the Tory and Liberal Democrat coalition. The minister also highlighted the competition which the UK industry faces from countries such as Canada, where games development receives considerable government support.
"The Tory-Lib Dem government is putting the future of the computer games industry in Scotland at risk. The terrible news this week about Realtime Worlds could be just the start unless the coalition government rethinks its decisions which are costing jobs and risking the recovery," wrote Balls.
"While Labour set out plans to support the industry in March, the new government axed it in June and the result is job losses in Dundee in August. These are the stark consequences of a government which cuts at any cost and seems to think that unemployment is a price worth paying. "
The Prime Minister had previously been evasive on the subject of the tax breaks for the UK's billion pound games industry, whilst some industry figures have claimed that the breaks were lobbied against by foreign-owned publishers looking to protect their own interests.