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TIGA optimistic a minority Tory government will keep tax breaks

If games industry continues to lobby key government members there's "still a chance" says Wilson

TIGA CEO Richard Wilson has told GamesIndustry.biz that he's "cautiously optimistic" that the games tax relief pledged by the Labour government in its last budget will go ahead following a decision in this year's election.

The result as it stands points to Prime Minster Gordon Brown attempting to create some sort of coalition with the Liberal Democrats, said Wilson.

"Of course, if that was to happen we know that Labour and the Liberal Democrats are both signed up behind games tax relief so, in that sense, everything will continue," he said, although he cautioned that it was unknown how stable such a coalition would be.

In the event of David Cameron successfully forming a minority leadership, Wilson said that he was confident of enough support from the party to pass the tax break, despite the party failing to deliver a promised mini manifesto pre-election that would outline its plans for the games industry.

"We've heard a number of comments during the election campaign from the Conservatives. We know that some Conservative candidates, some that have been elected, have written to studios and said they support games tax relief," he said.

"I would have thought that in a situation where the Conservatives were in a minority government they wouldn't want to do anything that would cause them unnecessary unpopularity," he added.

"On the great scale of things £90 million over two years, which the Treasury have already earmarked, is not a huge sum of money and - as we know - it's a sum of money that will actually lead to more tax revenue, more jobs, more investment in the future.

"So I am cautiously optimistic that the games tax relief that was committed by the Labour government in the last budget will continue and I think that if the game industry continues to lobby whoever occupies the key positions in government I still think there's a chance of getting it through."

Wilson admitted that it was "surprising" the Conservative party said they would issue a mini manifesto and then didn't. But added that a number of Tory candidates had verbally pledged their support, which was a positive indication.

"One of the things I have been encouraged by is that a number of Conservative candidates that have duly been elected have said they're supportive of games tax relief, and that gives me some encouragement," he said.

"Just as we had to lobby the government and the Liberal Democrats to back games tax relief, now we'll have to do the same thing with the Conservatives. We have to make sure that some of the new MPs that have been elected see the light as well," he concluded.

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Kath Brice

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