At the Westminster eForum meeting in London yesterday on the state of the UK games industry (which I attended), Ed Vaizey, Conservative shadow minister for culture and the creative industries, made it quite clear that if a Conservative government comes into power this year the UK games industry is unlikely to see any movement towards a UK games tax break for 2-3 years. He said that a tax break for the UK games industry is simply not one of the Tories’ top priorities, compared to the challenges presented by the present recession. (In December 2009, the present Labour government confirmed it has no plans to introduce a UK games tax break in this term).
In a wide-ranging panel discussion, Ed Vaizey also covered:
- his hopes for the industry bodies TIGA and ELSPA to work together, or even be merged, in the future
- the controversial possibility that the UK Film Council could adopt a role in representing the games industry (and possibly the games industry could thereby obtain access to National Lottery funding – an important source of film financing)
- Conservative plans for broadband penetration in the next few years (he compared the current Labour plans of universal 2mbps by 2012 rather unfavourably to curren broadband already available in Asia)
My thoughts more generally on the Westminster eForum, which went over a lot of ground from digital distribution to games education to tax breaks, are here.