Treasury Minister: â??We're still considering tax cutsâ??

Treasury Minister: â??We're still considering tax cutsâ??

By Rob Crossley

January 11th 2010 at 12:30PM

But is the industry convinced that weâ??ll finally see a change of heart at Whitehall?

The UK Government will continue to look at calls for game development tax breaks, the Treasury Minister has said.

A Commons debate on Friday heard Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Timms, declare that Brown’s Labour Government will “continue to look at the industry's case for a change to tax treatment.”

Timms’s statement was a response to a somewhat prosecutorial question by SNP member Stewart Hosie, who said:

“In the pre-Budget report, the Chancellor said that ‘we need to invest in the dynamic sectors of the future-in digital’… but, of course, there was nothing in the pre-Budget report for the games sector in particular.”

The pre-Budget report in question had declared that the Government “is not currently persuaded that the evidence is sufficiently compelling to justify the introduction of a tax incentive for the development of culturally British video games at this time.”

It’s not known how the industry at large will respond to the Government’s apparent renewed commitment to consider development tax breaks. Brown’s Labour Cabinet has in the past been attacked for carrying empty promises and delaying tactics in the way it handles the game industry.

The news comes after Scottish Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop told Develop that Scotland will fight on for development tax breaks.

Game industry association Tiga has now pledged to resume its campaign for tax breaks.