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TIGA: Treasury to blame for lack of tax relief

Friday, 25th June 2010 17:17 GMT By Joe Anderson

TIGA

TIGA’s Dr Richard Wilson has said the UK Treasury is to blame for the lack of UK video game tax relief, not a nefarious publisher.

Speaking to GI.biz, Dr Wilson said allegations of a major publisher sabotaging the tax relief plan was just a rumour.

“The truth of the matter is we don’t know,” he said. “What I would say is the key thing is, rather than to look for any scapegoat in the industry at home or aboard, for Machiavellian machinations going on in the background, to focus on the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrats.

“They both promised before the election they would give us games tax relief. We want them to honour that commitment.

“If there was a sinister man in the shadows and he or she snapped their fingers, then it wouldn’t say a great deal for our political leaders.”

“Even if there is, and we don’t know, or has been a publisher arguing against games tax relief, they’re not going to win. We’ve won the argument. We’re going to continue with the arguments, and we are going to get it established.”

Wilson did say that not everyone in the games industry was for the idea, hinting there was some disagreement on TIGA’s proposals.

“It’s the usual thing, the treasury are the people we have to convince,” he said. “I think the key people in the government who need to be convinced are definitely George, and also I think David Gauke, the exchequer secretary, who is probably fairly invisible actually, externally. But he is a very, very important man.”

Wilson finished by saying he sees no reason why the games industry cannot be supported by the government, after all it’s the biggest form of entertainment around and is continuing to grow.

“One doesn’t want to appear as if one has a chip on one’s shoulder,” said Wilson, “but you can’t help thinking that so many other sectors in the economy get special treatment, for some reason videogames are so often overlooked.

“So I’m hoping this government is going to be grown-up and mature enough to recognise that the videogames industry is the industry of the future, and give it the support it deserves.”

Alistair Darling originally promised tax cuts for the Games Industry last month, before the current Chancellor of the Exchequer decided against the idea.

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