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Labour and Liberal MPs divided on govt games aid

Lib Dem MP claims APB proves tax breaks a bad idea, but Shadow minister fears job losses

Shadow minister for International Development Gareth Thomas clashed with Liberal MP Tom Brake on whether the abandonment of planned tax breaks for the games industry would have a negative effect on employment.

Thomas claimed on The Politics Show (as reported by CVG) that there was a "whole series of British jobs created by the games industry in the UK", but now there was a "question mark that jobs created can now be maintained".

Brake, however, pointed to the recent collapse of RealTime Worlds as a reason why the government should not be assisting game businesses, although factual errors suggested he had not fully researched the matter.

"We've just seen RealTime Worlds in Scotland - responsible for Grand Theft Auto - has gone out of business... We need to make sure the infrastructure is strong."

He claimed that tax relief "was going to cost £192 million," was "another spending commitment made by Labour that was uncosted" and "doesn't add up, I'm afraid."

Meanwhile, Treasury MD Edward Troup has also questioned the government's decision to abandon plans for games tax relief.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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