Brown calls election: Tax break policies drawn

Brown calls election: Tax break policies drawn

By Rob Crossley

April 6th 2010 at 12:26PM

Labour, Tory and Lib Dem parties have each outlined plans to support the industry

UK prime minister Gordon Brown has met with the Queen in Buckingham Palace to ask to dissolve Parliament – marking the start of the build up to this year’s General Election.

The election date has been set for May 6, with all three main parties primed to campaign across the country for a full month.

In somewhat unconventional circumstances, the key policies central to the game industry have already been put on the table.

Labour will pay £50 million in the 2011 fiscal year for game development tax breaks, and a further £40 million will be offered up twelve months later.

Outgoing Chancellor Alistair Darling pledged game development tax breaks in the 2010 Budget – claiming that the tax break system will be based on the existing film tax credit system.

The policy had failed to be enacted before today’s dissolution of Parliament – meaning that a Labour Government would likely need to be elected for the finance bill to go forward unhampered.

Yet Brown’s two closest opposing parties each support game tax breaks in some form – it is the details that remain thin.

Since the Budget, the Conservative Party has begun to more directly pledge support for game development tax breaks.

The party’s spokesperson for the game industry, Ed Vaizey, exclusively told Develop that a Tory government would introduce tax break measures in its first budget.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrat party has fired out criticisms against Labour’s tax break plans, yet has since backed plans for state support for the game industry.

At the recent inaugural Game Question Time debate, members from all three parties joked that it would be unwise to support for any party solely on the basis of tax breaks. Those more embedded in the industry may disagree.