Gathering up the strength to appear at the UK’s Develop Conference despite the government removing game industry tax incentives from its emergency budget, Shadow Minister for Culture Ed Vaizey walked a fine line—claiming that he championed the games biz, yet endorsing George Osborne’s plan to focus on the greater and more immediate financial needs of the UK.
In recounting a question to Vaizey about Games Tax Relief being offered in the future, the Guardian wrote that Vaizey was “non-committal, but offered a glimmer of hope." The MP stated, “I can't emphasise enough that I'm not the chancellor; it's just that in my view the treasury is always open to rational argument.”
Vaizey continued, “If you take the opportunity after the budget to look very hard at the kind of incentives you think the industry needs, particularly in order to attract foreign investment and also to compete across the world, then its up to you to decide the right focus and make that case."
TIGA head Richard Wilson appeared to take issue with Vaizey’s claim that a case had yet to be made, countering:
It was included in the March budget, for goodness sake. We convinced the treasury pre-election and we apparently convinced the Liberal and Conservative parties while they were in opposition – in fact, Ed Vaizey's on record saying that George Osborne agreed with him about tax breaks against games production, before the election. It would be fascinating to find out what happened between the March budget and the emergency budget.