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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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Alec Meer: 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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