Cameron: “Difficult Decision,” but UK Tax Breaks had to be Nixed

October 28, 2010 -

During a recent "Prime Minister’s Questions" session,  Labour MP Luciana Berger took the opportunity to question Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured) about the UK government’s decision to not institute tax relief measures for local developers.

Berger, who represents Liverpool Wavertree, stated, according to Develop, “Before the election all three parties pledged to introduce a videogames tax relief to compete internationally on a level playing-field,” before she asked the PM, “Why has the government reneged on that promise?"

Cameron began answering by stating that the government had to make “difficult decisions.”

He continued:

So we have got to take difficult decisions and I think that tax break relief, which was not particularly successful or targeted, had to go. Those are the difficult decisions we have to take.

Dr. Richard Wilson head of industry group TIGA, a Games Tax Relief champion, responded by saying:

David Cameron’s negative response to Luciana Berger’s question is peculiar. The PM claimed that Games Tax Relief was ‘...not particular successful or targeted...’ Yet both the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats promised that they would introduce this tax break before the election.

Wilson added, “Unless the Coalition Government urgently reappraises its decision to cancel Games Tax Relief then the UK video games industry will suffer and it will not be able to deliver the jobs, exports and investment so desperately needed to rebalance our economy.”

Dundee West MSP Joe FitzPatrick expressed that he was “disappointed but not entirely surprised,” in regards to a lack of movement towards tax relief.


Comments

Re: Cameron: “Difficult Decision,” but UK Tax Breaks ...

Can they stop blaming Canada for their own inaction now?

Re: Cameron: “Difficult Decision,” but UK Tax Breaks ...

Scrap child benefit and cut housing benefit, use this money to fund the tax breaks for games developers. Simples.

Re: Cameron: “Difficult Decision,” but UK Tax Breaks ...

Might I suggest that they would have been more successful had they actually been put in place?

My answer to DC would be that, as an island which depends on imports, we should try and export something and since we can't undercut most countries on price, we should be aiming to promote skilled industries.

If you want proof that tax breaks work, then take a look at Eidos Montreal; a British publisher who opened a studio in Canada due to tax incentives. And now, because Eidos is owned by Square Enix, some of the revenue is going back to Japan. If we had tax breaks, the jobs and money might have stayed here.

The problem is, I doubt there are many conservative MPs who would want to say that GTA does more good than harm!

Re: Cameron: “Difficult Decision,” but UK Tax Breaks ...

Don't forget that Labour have Keith Vaz, who has spouted a lot of moral panic-inspired rubbish in the media about violent games, while the Tories have Ed Vaizey who is certainly on the industry's side and was trying to get the tax breaks put in before the PM and Osborne killed off the idea.

I suppose Cameron can argue that the deficit took over as his absolute priority when he came to power as, apparently, it was far worse than he imagined. However, I still don't understand it - essentially giving (or investing or however you see it) money in the form of tax breaks which then generates more money in the long term and secures jobs ISN'T deemed feasible.

Re: Cameron: “Difficult Decision,” but UK Tax Breaks ...

Absolutely, the lack of public funds is the primary reason for this decision. However, tax breaks aren't technically an investment of public money, they are a reduction in revenue. The industry isn't asking for investment per se, they are asking for lower costs (it's more expensive than most other countries to develop here)

Lost jobs and exports reduce public revenue as well. Industry growth creates more public revenue via income tax and VAT that consumers and employees pay.

I still maintain that the decision is political rather than fiscal, i.e. the government cannot be seen to be supporting something when they have bigger priorities and public funds are extremely tight.

Re: Cameron: “Difficult Decision,” but UK Tax Breaks ...

I've just heard that this tax break would cost in the region of £180m. The government did not want to appear to favour one industry over another especially as many would be receiving cuts.

 
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Matthew WilsonI think its a good article, and devs can take some lessons from life is strange.04/24/2015 - 10:24pm
Andrew EisenI tinyURL'd it. The world is safe!04/24/2015 - 10:23pm
Matthew Wilson@AE my bad there is nothing I can do about that.04/24/2015 - 10:21pm
Andrew EisenLooks like the spoiler is right there in the URL.04/24/2015 - 10:20pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://tinyurl.com/ok9pf6b a interesting opinion piece on the life is strange episode 2, and a dark event that happens in it. full warning major spoilers.04/24/2015 - 10:11pm
Matthew Wilson@mech no just she, nor her co workers have not. she never said it is not real.04/24/2015 - 8:58pm
MechaCrashWas she saying "I haven't experienced it," or "I haven't experienced it therefore it does not exist"?04/24/2015 - 8:31pm
ZippyDSMleeoy the skyrim paid mod thing is going over well. My 2 lints, I would not mind if Skyrim had a full SDK and not a crappy lil editor....04/24/2015 - 6:46pm
Andrew EisenWell, that is indeed crappy and nonsensical.04/24/2015 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonshe got attacked for saying that she personaly has not experienced the harassment some other female devs have, and she got acused of defending GG and ignoring harassment. she ended up getting dog piled because of it.04/24/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenFine but do you recall ANY details at all?04/24/2015 - 3:38pm
Matthew Wilsonit was several weeks ago now, and I will admit to not saving it.04/24/2015 - 3:36pm
Andrew EisenAttacked HOW and by WHOM for not writing off WHO as evil? Do you have a link or anything?04/24/2015 - 3:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthat is the whole point she was not attacked for saying anything. she was attacked for being willing to debate in the first place, and not just write them off as evil.04/24/2015 - 3:28pm
Andrew EisenI know there's not a lot of room in the Shout box but goodness you're being vague.04/24/2015 - 3:26pm
Andrew EisenGreat, but that STILL doesn't tell me what she said, why she was attacked (or what the attack was) or what "standard line" she's following. Details, man. Details!04/24/2015 - 3:25pm
Andrew EisenOr what the heck Nina White (someone else I've never heard of) is actually referring to.04/24/2015 - 3:24pm
Matthew Wilson@AE she is a game dev. she used to do stuff with hormanix and now works with https://outact.net/#!/?page_id=2 she will often engage and debate both side.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew Eisen...following.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew EisenYou mean focus on stopping the bad behavior of those who are doing it rather than condemning all the people that associate with them? Great. But I still don't know who Emma Clarkson is, what she said, why she was attacked or what "standard line" she's04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
 

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