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UK Games Industry Tax Breaks "Political Suicide"

8 Jun 2010  by   Paul Younger

Unnamed political insiders (no doubt cloaked in shadows and intrigue) have reportedly told GamesIndustry.biz that any current moves towards tax breaks for the UK games industry would be “political suicide.”

The case for games industry tax breaks has been made multiple times, with both the Labour Party (prior to its electorial defeat) and Liberal Democrats (prior to an uncomfortable marriage to the Tory Party) seeming to indicate their support for the scheme.

However, with the UK economy still looking bleak, Conservative MPs Jeremy Hunt and Ed Vaizey (representing the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) have played down any immediate action on tax relief. Vaizey stated that he “still supported tax breaks in principle” but warned that it could take at least two years to create a fair system, and even that would be dependant on the support of a coalition government desperate to make cuts in spending.While there is an argument to suggest that tax breaks for the games industry could ultimately bring in more tax revenue if games companies choose to hire more employees, this is somewhat speculative. As the present government is hoping to make severe cuts in pay, pensions and benefits that will affect the majority of the country, it is unlikely to combine this austere approach with a generous package of tax breaks for videogame developers.

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