Jim McGovern condemns Government stance on Computer Games Industry
11 July 2011
Jim McGovern MP today condemned the government’s response to the SNP’s Joe Fitzpatrick MSP.
The Treasury response repeated what had been said by Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury to Jim McGovern last October, and in a special Westminster Hall debate secured by the Dundee West MP two weeks ago. (Wednesday 29th June)
A Scottish Affairs Select Committee report published in January on this subject recommended that the government begin a comprehensive study into the potential benefits of introducing tax breaks, saying there were ‘compelling reasons’ to do so.
Culture Minister John Penrose MP repeated that a broad based competitive tax regime was the government’s primary focus, but conceded that all tax decisions including this one where under constant consideration.
Jim McGovern has pushed for the government to introduce greater support for the computer games industry since the election.
This support includes tax breaks, a better targeted Research & Development tax credit scheme, the establishment of a Creative Content Fund and government support for developers to gain financing from banks and investors.
Jim McGovern said,
“It is clear the government are repeating themselves in this response.
They must listen not just to industry but to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, and the many MPs and their constituents who want to see a change in their policy.
“This is a UK wide industry.
"The Scottish industry would be severely harmed without the benefit that comes from being a part of a major international player in the world economy.
"Being a part of the world’s sixth largest economy is a massive pull for games developers.
“I welcome Mr Fitzpatrick’s support on this issue.
"However the irony does not escape me that not one SNP Member of Parliament made an appearance at the Westminster Hall debate I tabled to discuss the computer games industry two weeks ago.
“This debate, where I and other colleagues were able to put to a government minister in detail our concerns about the government’s stance on this issue, even gained the support of a number of Conservative backbench MPs, but nothing from the SNP.”
Mr. McGovern concluded,
“It simply isn’t good enough that the SNP stay at home and do not join us in ensuring that an important British and Scottish industry is protected.
"This is a UK issue, and Scotland will only benefit if it is dealt with at that level.
"I am encouraged that the SNP see this as an
important issue, and I look forward to seeing their MPs join me in
putting pressure on the UK government to change direction on this