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Prime Minister snubs tax breaks

Conversative leader David Cameron fields MP questioning on budget's scrapped relief for UK games biz

UK prime minister David Cameron has been questioned in parliament about the cancellation of planned tax relief for the games industry.

However, Cameron did not engage the question directly, instead side-stepping to promote the merits of lowered corporation tax. During prime minister's questions, he said "We believe that what matters is having low tax rates, and what we did in the Budget – which the House voted on last night – was to cut the small company rate of corporation tax back down to 20p from 22p and set out a path for getting corporation tax down to 24% by the end of this Parliament."

"That would give us one of the lowest tax rates in the G8, the G20 or anywhere in Europe. That is what we will benefit from, but I note that the Labour party voted against those tax reductions."

This was in response to a challenge Labour MP Jim McGovern, representing the Dundee West constituency. "In the run-up to the general election, the Conservatives claimed to be the party that would support small businesses, yet in their first Budget they cancelled tax breaks for the computer games industry, which is crucial to my constituency," stated McGovern.

"Can the Prime Minister tell not only me and the House but the hundreds of people in Dundee who are employed in the computer games industry and the students who study at Abertay university exactly why his Chancellor feels that that tax break was poorly targeted?"

Games industry trade association TIGA hopes to return the issue of tax breaks to the table in next year's budget, while Activision has also affirmed support for the proposal.

However, Eidos life president Ian Livingstone recently called for an alternative form of funding.

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Latest comments (13)

carri cunliffe GameHorizon Conference Director, GameHorizon10 years ago
Did you mean Ian Livingstone?
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Alec Meer Director, Rock, Paper, Shotgun Ltd10 years ago
Ah, whoops - a portmanteau from a misspent youth playing Fighting Fantasy.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 10 years ago
Is anyone else just completely desensitised to this now and just not expecting anything from the UK government ever? Although yes it should still be pushed for.
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Show all comments (13)
John Jennings Senior Producer, Machinegames10 years ago

And here's some news from Canada *today*...

[link url=

"Friday, July 9, 2010 | 7:43 AM AT

Nova Scotia government officials are heading to Britain next week to recruit software development companies to set up in the province, the premier says.

The reality is that the current government in the U.K. has completely cancelled all of their media tax credits. As a result thereof, there is a considerable interest in many of those companies looking for other jurisdictions."
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Russell Watson Senior Designer, Born Ready Games10 years ago
I never expected anything in the first place. The British government isnt as forward thinking as other countries when it comes to technology.

I hope the government are paying attention.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Russell Watson on 9th July 2010 2:11pm

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Gregory Keenan10 years ago
I think if the person asking the question hadn't brought up "Supporting small businesses" - which the government is trying to do with this minor tax reduction - he may have had a more direct reply relating to the games industry. For someone being in Westminster for Five years now, I would have thought he would by now know how to phrase his questions - keep on topic!
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Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief10 years ago
I'm not sure that these tax breaks would have done what everything thinks they would, as I argued in Are tax breaks dooming Canada to second class status?.

Broadly, I agree that lowering tax for all small businesses is a better growth driver than special pleading for games.
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Kyle Hatch Software Engineer, Pennant International Services LTD10 years ago
nice to know my local mp is fighting for this. Dundee's a mess right now, people are talking, obviously it's been mooted for a while that real time could move, but the distinct lack of parity between games and other media is frighteningly obvious yet the Tories can't see it.

As for looking for a job abroad, i'd love to, but most Canadian companies I've contacted ask for a couple years experience, hard to get that when theirs no local companies to hire from....
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Samuel Chay Mottershaw Studying Scriptwriting, Staffordshire University10 years ago
Nice to see cameron's got his side-step on.
This tax break axing really got to me, not only does it cut down potential for future jobs but slows the growth of the UK Game Industry which is making some exceptional games.
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Andy Payne Chair/founder, AppyNation10 years ago
When will the UK ever learn? Canada just gets on a builds a vibrant, computer and video games industry. We just sit back like we have done since the 60's and let the 'free market' wave it's magic wand. Apparently the promised tax breaks were 'poorly targeted' - which rubs salt into an already deep wound.
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Andy Payne Chair/founder, AppyNation10 years ago
Sorry, this posting is actually meant for another thread, but is strangely apt.
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Andy Payne Chair/founder, AppyNation10 years ago
Sorry, this posting is actually meant for another thread, but is strangely apt.
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Al Campbell Studying Computer Games Technology, University of Abertay Dundee10 years ago
@Kyle: From rumours I've heard, RTW aren't the only ones who could move. Quite a few games companies local to Dundee are supposedly looking elsewhere, and given that the city is supposed to be a centre for at least the Scottish games industry, if not the UK's, a mass exodus from the area could well impact the city in a wider way.
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