Jim McGovern raises games tax relief delay during Prime Minister’s Questions

Dundee West MP Jim McGovern today raised the delay in seeing computer games relief implemented during Prime Minister’s questions in the House of Commons.

Addressing the Prime Minister Mr McGovern explained that the policy to implement tax relief for the computer games was announced in the 20102 Budget and passed to the European Commission in April 2013 in order to ensure that it does not infringe upon EU law. The Commission announced it would be subject to a detailed review. Since that time nothing has been heard about the progress of that review or when it would be completed.

 

Jim McGovern lead a two a year campaign to convince the government to implement tax relief for the industry, which is an important component of Dundee’s economy. The Labour government pledged in their 2010 manifesto to introduce this policy; however this was scrapped on the election of the Tory-led coalition government.

Trade body TIGA, who represent the industry, recently raised their concerns with Mr McGovern about the delay and the impact this was having on the UK industry. Investment continues to decline in the sector nationally which is seeing studios close and jobs lost to overseas competitors. The body estimates that tax reliefs would reverse this trend creating 4,661 direct and indirect jobs, create £188 million in investment expenditure by studios, increase the games development sector’s contribution to UK GDP by £283 million and generate £172 million in new and protected tax receipts to the Treasury over five years.

In reply the Prime Minister told the MP that he shared his frustrations over the long delay and confirmed the government’s commitment to implementing the policy. The Prime Minister went on to announce that he was “hopeful” of good news shortly.

Jim McGovern said;

“The delay in implementing this policy has hit the industry hard. Like many sectors of the economy computer games studios have struggled in recent years. If Dundee and the UK are to see economic growth we need a proactive stance in supporting vital industries.  We must ensure that our industries are internationally competitive. Labour proposed this before the 2010 election, but sadly due to the decisions of this government and the EU Commission we are still waiting to see it happen four years later.”

“The slow response of the European Commission has been disappointing, especially when you consider that France already operates a similar tax incentive system for the industry.”

“I am encouraged that the Prime Minister is hopeful of hearing of good news from the Commission shortly. The industry, Dundee and the UK cannot continue to wait indefinitely to see that its industries are properly supported. Dundee needs economic growth and job creation now; there is no good reason for further delays.”

Jim McGovern delivering his question at Prime Minister's Questions today: